Chelsea traveled to Seville for their Champions League roster. Sevilla are the champions of the UEFA Europa League and they have a very good unit boasting some competitive players. Beating Sevilla t their own ground would not be an easy task for the Blues. But in the end, it proved to be a cakewalk for the Blues.
Olivier Giroud was Chelsea’s match-winner for the second time in as many Champions League games as he scored all four goals in a 4-0 victory over Sevilla that clinched first place in Group E for the Blues.
Giroud, making his 50th start for the club, was at his clinical best as he took his tally to 10 goals in his last seven away starts in the competition and ensured Chelsea go into the round of 16 as one of eight seeded teams.
Oldest player to score a UCL hat-trick.
First Chelsea player to score four goals in a European competition.
Only Ronaldo and Messi have more European goals since 2018/19.
Olivier Giroud is like a fine wine ? pic.twitter.com/dmThlJ91hL
— Sporting Index (@sportingindex) December 3, 2020
He was the beneficiary of some fine build-up play as Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi staked their claim for more regular first-team football in an impressive performance from a changed Chelsea team.
Sevilla went into this game unbeaten in 14 home matches in all European competitions but were thrashed by Frank Lampard’s hardworking side, who blocked low for long periods but attacked fluently.
After scoring with either foot, Giroud capped a fine performance with a towering header and then a penalty as he became the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, at 34 years and 63 days.
Giroud has yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea this season, but when asked whether he had a good claim for a place, Lampard told BT Sport, “Yeah, he does. I’ll have to see because it is a tight turnaround but it’s four goals in a game.”
“It’s not just his own performance but when you play Ollie and you utilize his strengths and still maintain threats from the side with speed and quality play from the middle of the park, then you see a real nice balance about our attacking play.”
Since his arrival, Chelsea has a 74% win ratio when Giroud starts ?
What a ludicrous stat ? pic.twitter.com/mSioIdB6Hj
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) December 3, 2020
“It’s not easy scoring four but again he’s done it on this level against a really top opponent. His input into the goals was really top class.”
Having seen his men draw 0-0 with Tottenham three days earlier, Lampard rotated his team and brought in Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz along with Giroud, while resting Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner, and Mason Mount.
He was rewarded with a performance full of confidence as Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, and substitute N’Golo Kante all assisted goals for Giroud before the France international scored a late penalty.
While Giroud is the oldest to score a hat-trick in the Champions League, Ferenc Puskas did score three goals in the European Cup aged 38 years and 173 days in 1965.
Oldest players to score a Champions League hat-trick:
1. Olivier Giroud, 2020—34 years, 63 days
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 2019—34 years, 35 days
3. Claudio Pizarro, 2012—34 years, 34 days pic.twitter.com/63fKIAMs6R
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 3, 2020
Giroud is now just the second Frenchman to score two Champions League hat-tricks, with only Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema the other player to do so.
Lampard was the last player to score four goals in a single game for Chelsea with the Blues’ current manager achieving that feat back in March 2010 against Aston Villa.
“It’s worrying. I thought I still had a role to play at Chelsea but my playing time is getting reduced a lot. It’s going to have to change or a decision must be made,” Giroud told Telefoot last month. “I am clear-headed about my situation: I will have to make a decision in January. I hope to make the right one, as I have always done.”
But the performance against Sevilla should be a huge boost for the Frenchman and the coach of the blues.
The veteran is still not done yet.