Olivier Giroud, known for his goal-scoring abilities, made headlines recently when he unexpectedly found himself between the goalposts to save AC Milan against Genoa in a thrilling showdown. Fans flocked to buy him his goalkeeper jersey; even Zlatan Ibrahimovic couldn’t resist making fun of Olivier in regards to his newfound role!
The stage was set when Milan was leading 1-0 and had exhausted all their substitutions. In injury time, Milan’s goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, was sent off for a daring challenge, leaving the Rossoneri in a tight spot. The Genoa president, Alberto Zangrillo, didn’t mince words, condemning Maignan’s action as dangerous.
Amidst the chaos, Milan manager Stefano Pioli made a daring decision. Instead of fielding Christian Pulisic, who volunteered to take the goalkeeping role, Pioli chose the towering Giroud, citing his height advantage. It was a move that would prove pivotal.
As Genoa lined up for a free-kick, Giroud stood tall in the goal, his 6ft 4in frame imposing a formidable presence. Albert Gudmundsson’s shot seemed destined for the net, but a crucial deflection off Fikayo Tomori’s boot sent it crashing onto the crossbar. Giroud reacted swiftly, heading away the follow-up attempt by Caleb Ekuban, keeping Milan’s lead intact.
The drama didn’t end there. Genoa’s goalkeeper, Josep Martínez, was sent off moments later, becoming the second goalkeeper to see red in this extraordinary match. The game reached its climax as Genoa launched one final attack. George Puscas unleashed a pass with a clever backheel flick, setting up a one-on-one opportunity against Giroud.
With a rush of adrenaline, Giroud charged out to confront Puscas. Closing his eyes and relying on instinct, he executed a blind right-armed swat that miraculously deflected the ball away from the Genoa striker. As another Genoa forward closed in for the rebound, Giroud opened his eyes and leapt backward to smother the loose ball.
The final whistle marked Milan’s 1-0 victory, solidifying their position at the top of the table. Social media erupted with fantasy football managers speculating about Giroud’s potential clean sheet points.
The next day, Milan’s website officially listed Giroud as one of their goalkeepers, sparking a frenzy of fans eager to own his jersey. Giroud had worn Maignan’s No 19 during his brief but heroic goalkeeping stint, which he later decided deserved a place in a frame at home.
Giroud revealed, when reflecting upon this life-altering event: “I never imagined it would bring so much emotion, yet it played such an integral role for me.
Milan’s impressive victory combined with Inter’s draw with Bologna propelled them to the top of the table. While early days into the season remain, Milan’s improved defense and ability to adapt in unexpected circumstances such as Giroud’s goalkeeping cameo have firmly cemented them as formidable foes for Inter.
As for how long Giroud might have to fill in as the goalkeeper, one thing is certain: he’ll be ready, jersey and all, to embrace the challenge once more.