Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for Olivier Giroud after his performance against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
The Blues secured an impressive 1-0 victory over Los Rojiblancos in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie in the Champions League. The London giants dominated the game and took the lead in the 68th minute thanks to a superb overhead kick by Olivier Giroud.
The match took place in Bucharest instead of the Wanda Metropolitano due to the travel restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea have gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel took over the managerial reins at the club. They have managed to keep six clean sheets in those games.
Tuchel heaped praise on Olivier Giroud after the Atletico Madrid game, stating that he is delighted with the 34-year-old’s professionalism. He said in the post-match conference:
“If you see him on a daily basis, you cannot be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape and his physicality is on top level. Mentally I have really the feeling he enjoys every day being a professional soccer player on this level and this is the level he needs to be.”
The former PSG boss added: “He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old. He is a guy who has a good mixture of serious and joy in training. He is always positive and it is a big factor for the group. He starts, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities and it is good like this.”
The 34-year-old who has now scored six goals becomes the first Chelsea player to reach that total or more in a Champions League campaign since Didier Drogba in 2011/12.
Olivier Giroud has been heavily linked with a move away from Chelsea over the last eighteen months. Former Blues manager Frank Lampard preferred to play Tammy Abraham ahead of the Frenchman last season.
However, the former Arsenal man had a strong finish to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign and became a regular starter for the club after the restart. His performances attracted the attention of clubs like Juventus and Inter Milan last summer, but the striker opted to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place.
Giroud has not been a regular in the Blues starting line-up but has been largely impressive whenever given the chance.
Olivier Giroud’s contract with Chelsea is set to expire at the end of the season. However, Thomas Tuchel’s admiration for the player could see him sign a new deal and extend his stay at the club.