Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said Olivier Giroud has made a case for a start against Leeds on Saturday after his four-goal strike against Sevilla.
Giroud netted a perfect hat-trick followed by a left-footed penalty to sweep the Spaniards aside in the Champions League.
Chelsea had previously secured progression to the last 16, so the win wasn’t crucial. Giroud’s showing, however, was just that in his hunt for more playtime.
Indeed, it was the Frenchman who sent Chelsea to the knockout phase with a header against Rennes last week.
Asked after Wednesday’s game whether he deserved a start on Saturday, Lampard was guarded. However, he admitted the great achievement Giroud had achieved.
“We’ll have to see – it’s a tight turnaround, but it’s four goals in one game,” said the manager. BT Sport.
“It’s not just his performance, but when you play against him and use his strengths and his speed, there’s a real balance to the rest of the team.”
The Chelsea boss: “Four goals at this level and the quality of the goals… the individual aspects of Olivier and the team aspects in the first half, back to front the team were great.
“[It was an] great solo performance from Olivier. [I’m] delighted with him, delighted with the team. This is a hard place to come. There were times in the first half when it was difficult and we dealt with it. “
Giroud’s pull was also an important moment for French football. The feat means he has now overtaken Zinedine Zidane for Champions League goals.
Lampard praises the reliable Giroud
“Olivier is reliable, period. Not just for us, but also for his international goals for France, he’s up there with great French individuals, ”said Lampard.
That’s a great stat about Zidane, but in a way I’m not too concerned about that. But I’m concerned about what he’s giving us on the field.
“There couldn’t be a teammate there that makes the players happier because of the way Olivier is on the training ground and in the games.”
Chelsea will have the chance to expand their unbeaten streak to 13 games across all competitions when they take on Leeds.