Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has hailed the longevity of Olivier Giroud after the striker landed a fine winner against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday. Catch up with the post-match thoughts of the Chelsea boss and match-winner Giroud.
The France international produced a wonderful overhead kick in the 68th minute to secure a 1-0 victory at Arena Nationala in Bucarest, with coronavirus travel restrictions preventing the tie taking place at the Wanda Metropolitano.
While the 34-year-old Giroud had to wait for a lengthy VAR check, the goal was eventually given. It was his sixth in the competition this season after a crucial late effort at Rennes and a four-goal haul at Sevilla in the group stage.
'He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old. He is a guy who has a good mixture of seriousness and joy in training. He is always positive and it is a big factor for the group,' said Tuchel after the match.
'He starts, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities and it is good like this.'
Giroud, who did not play a single minute at Southampton this past weekend, was one of four changes made by the German. Callum Hudson-Odoi was also handed a start despite being substituted after only 31 minutes at St Mary’s following his half-time introduction.
Chelsea recovered from a nervy opening few minutes in Romania to dominate the majority of the contest and prevent LaLiga leaders Atletico from having a single shot on target.
The Blues boss added: 'I am super happy for my players and the team for such a big reward. We actually can read it on the scoreline that we have the result against top opponents.
'It was very important that we are absolutely concentrated over all 96 minutes and that we also accept that it’s very hard to create chances, but we did all that and it was a very good team effort.'
Watch Tuchel's full post-match presser here:
Watch Giroud's post-match interview here:
Atletico were without several players, including the suspended Kieran Trippier, and struggled in unfamiliar surroundings to suffer a second straight defeat following Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Levante.
It is now one victory in five games for Diego Simeone’s side and he said: 'I understood we had to play like this.
'I think the main problem was we didn’t have a lot of precision about taking back the ball.
'It was a hard game, no one had a lot of chances of scoring but also it was very difficult with their attack because they have really strong and quality players.'
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