It has gone down as one of the greatest goals in Premier League history: Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick, scored on New Year’s Day in 2017, set Arsenal on course for a 2-0 victory, and won the Frenchman the Puskas Award for Best Goal later that year.
Victory for the Gunners that day helped move Arsene Wenger’s side into third, ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham, but it was Giroud who hogged the headlines for his 17th-minute strike. With Palace on the front foot, Lucas Perez won the ball back to start the move which culminated in Giroud’s brilliant, improvised, back-heeled volley which beat Wayne Hennessy and went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Despite the sumptuous technique required to pull off such a trick, the Frenchman admits it was a combination of wanting to get anything on the ball, and a big slice of fortune, which helped him score the wonder goal.
“It was both of those things!”
Giroud recalls in the latest edition of FourFourTwo, a special on the current wonderkids of the future which you can order here.
“I tried to keep the ball alive by finishing the move and having a shot and had maximum efficiency with a bit of luck. I never worked on it in training, though people who play with me know I love doing acrobatic moves – I loved Jean-Pierre Papin’s overhead kicks and have scored a couple myself!”
“True, this goal was so unusual!”
The 38-year-old, who is now playing for AC Milan in Serie A, jokes,” I did mean it, but hitting the underside of the crossbar made it that much better – it was just one of those things. It was a very, very special moment.”
What’s more, Giroud ranks winning the Puskas Award for Best Goal of 2017 as one of his greatest achievements in a glittering career!
“I’d have to say winning the World Cup [is my greatest achievement], but also winning the Puskas Award in 2017 for my scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace. I’ve seen a funny video from a guy who says when my kids are older; they’ll watch my goals and think I was as good as Pele!”