Are Giroud’s two goals for France a false dawn for Arsenal?
Olivier Giroud scored twice in France’s 2-1 win over Denmark but signs of his inconsistency in front goal were on show again.
A hamstring injury to Karim Benzema meant that Giroud was given the chance to impress as France’s spearhead in attack which was supported either side by Anthony Martial and Antoine Griezmann.
And it was Manchester United’s 19-year-old star who provided a fine assist for Giroud’s opener in the fourth minute. The pass was perfectly weighted into the path of the Arsenal forward but his attempt skimmed under Kasper Schmeichel and should have been comfortably saved.
Giroud’s second was also a gift. Lucas Digne’s cross from the left flank was met with a tame side-footed effort from Giroud. Schmeichel should have held onto the ball comfortably but instead he palmed the ball straight back into the path of the Arsenal man, who made no mistake the second time of asking.
Giroud continued to make positive runs but as the first half progressed, he was presented with no opportunity to seal his hat-trick.
His next clear-cut chance came after the break as the effervescent Martial stole possession in midfield and set Giroud off in a one-on-one with Schmeichel. The Arsenal man had enough time to choose his corner but he instead often to loft it over Schmeichel. The Denmark goalkeeper stood tall and was able to save.
It was another case of poor decision-making in a situation where Giroud was given enough space to show a cool head in front of goal and put the game beyond doubt.
After the match, even Giroud admitted his two goals had an air of fortune about them: “It is important to be decisive but I could have done better. I’m glad that luck has chosen my camp this time.
“Now it is part of a striker’s job to put away all their chances, I have not been doing so. I haven’t had enough efficiency or success. Tonight they went in, that’s better.”