Giroud: Adapting well

Olivier Giroud says yesterday's 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace was a crucial one in terms of our hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The victory over Roy Hodgson’s side enabled us to close the gap on Liverpool, who lost at Manchester United, to four points and it was imperative we returned to winning ways following successive defeats in recent weeks.

Giroud, who started up front, led the line well and was unlucky not to score his first Premier League goal for the Blues before his withdrawal in the 72nd minute.

‘We were 2-0 up and we struggled a bit to score the third one, which could have relieved us and let us play without fear until the end, but we did well and it was important to get the three points,’ said the striker.

‘Sometimes the goal looks smaller in certain games and that was the fact for me. I kept going, kept believing I could score but I was a bit unlucky. The defender saved the ball off the line (pictured below), and after that  I hit the post. After that I just tried to play with my team-mates and the most important thing was that I felt good on the pitch.

‘As a striker, sometimes you don’t look at the goal, you shoot and it’s going in but you need a bit of luck. It’s important keep the confidence high and work for your team-mates so I tried to deliver some passes for Willian and Eden. I’m happy because we won and even if I didn’t score I’m sure I will in the next games.’

Giroud’s impressive link-up play enabled both Willian, scorer of the opening goal, and Eden Hazard to get on the ball and cause the visitors problems, and he was pleased with the way the trio combined.

‘I think I’m adapting well, I try to have a good understanding on the pitch with the number 10s like Eden and Willian,’ explained Giroud.

‘We did some great movements. We could, and should, have scored more goals but as long as you are getting chances to score it means you are creating spaces so that’s good. Now we need more efficiency and a bit of luck.’

It’s now five goals in five games for Willian, who produced another fine display against Palace, and Giroud has been impressed with his team-mate’s form of late.

‘He’s been very efficient in the last weeks, he’s doing very well and he’s on a good run,’ said the forward.

‘We need players who can make the difference all through the game. He’s got everything to bring his quality for the team.’

Last night's result ensures we now head into Wednesday's Champions League game against Barcelona in good spirits.

'Obviously we needed the three points,' said Giroud. 'We basically had nine finals to win, we've won the first one but now we put the Premier League on the side and we have to focus on Barcelona.

'I think we have a good chance to go through if we stick together with solidarity. We know it will be tough but I believe in the quality of this team.'