April 23 (UPI) — Olivier Giroud faked out four defenders and the goalkeeper for the first goal in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory against Southampton.
He pulled off the stunning moves in the 46th minute of the Premier League face-off Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Both sides played a scoreless first half in the FA Cup semifinals affair, before the forward put one on the board in the first minute of the second stanza.
Blues star Eden Hazard received a pass up the right flank and brought down the ball just before the box. He then hit a quick pass toward the far post for Giroud. The Chelsea forward avoided a slide tackle with his first touch. He then tapped the ball inside the tackle, avoiding another sliding attempt from Maya Yoshida.
Southampton defender Cedric poked out at the ball, but Giroud managed to tap the ball out of his reach. Jan Bednarek also attempted to get to Giroud, but he was taken out by his own keeper, Alex McCarthy.
Giroud was falling, following the series of moves. He managed to get his right foot on the ball before hitting the ground. The shot fit just inside the left post.
Chelsea got the second score of the game in the 82nd minute.
Cesar Azpilicueta sent in a bending cross from about 25 yards out on that play. The feed found Alvaro Morata, who headed the ball in past McCarthy.
“We played a good first half but we couldn’t finish the job, so we wanted to start strongly in the second half,” Giroud told reporters.
“The manager just told us to keep going and to play our game. Eden gave me a good ball and after that I just tried to avoid the players in front of me. I was pretty sure there were a lot of players around me so I wanted to try something. I got a little bit lucky but that’s what I wanted to do.”
Chelsea plays Swansea City in a Premier League clash at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales.