Another match, another late game-saver for Olivier Giroud.
In Saturday’s FA Cup victory against Preston North End, the Frenchman popped up to save the Gunners’ bacon late in the match. With the threat of a replay looming, Giroud bounced home a winner for Arsenal in the 89th minute.
The 30-year-old striker has four goals in his last four matches for the Gunners, including this world-stopping scorpion kick. Aside from the theatrics, the impact of Giroud’s goals can’t be understated. He scored the winner against West Brom in the Premier League in the 86th minute. He nailed the aforementioned worldy against Palace. He earned a late draw against Bournemouth and now, he saved the Gunners in the FA Cup.
To put it succinctly: His last six goals have come in the 89th, 91st, 17th, 86th, 48th and 89th minutes.
The striker, who’s been maligned at Arsenal for much of his career, has a made a recent habit of coming up big late in matches. He was criticized for celebrating his equalizer against the Cherries, but that’s a reflection of Arsenal’s shortcomings as a whole. Without him, that’d be three points dropped. Or stuck in an FA Cup replay. Or any number of other awful spots that Giroud has kept them out of.
Will all due respect, losing to Preston North End would have been another blemish on Arsenal’s record. But Giroud made sure it didn’t happen.
He might not be the world-class forward Gunners fans are dying for, but the Frenchman has rescued his club enough to silence the haters.