If these are to be Olivier Giroud’s final few games as a Chelsea player, he certainly doesn’t want them to go like Thursday’s night 4-3 win over Slavia Prague did at Stamford Bridge. Obviously, he’ll want them to be wins, but maybe without such a drastic drop in performance from one half to the next.
“The most important thing was to win this game and we took a lot of pleasure on the pitch, especially in the first half, but obviously we need to be more solid in the second half.”
Chelsea still advanced into the semifinals of the Europa League, but will be facing a much tougher side in Eintracht Frankfurt in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, we still have Premier League matches to deal with, so any improvements we can make in the short-term could pay off significantly in the long-term.
Chelsea have been inconsistent all season, so expecting a massive reversal of that pattern may be unrealistic, but perhaps we can avoid shooting ourselves in the foot so readily as we seem be doing in 2019.
“We started the game very well, we have been efficient,. Scoring four goals in a half is very nice but obviously after the half-time, in the second half, we should have kept control of the game but they [Slavia Prague] scored two nice goals with long shots from distance. We could have put more pressure on the ball but we knew this team was not going to give up so we have been under pressure until the end.
“We dropped a little bit of our intensity and made some technical mistakes. It is a game of two halves and we need to learn to play the intensity of the first half in the second half. We need to learn from the mistakes we made in the second half.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Chelsea FC
Giroud did have a very good game personally, scoring one and setting up another to keep him as the top scorer in the competition and one of only two players in this season with at least 10 goals in European competitions. The other? Lionel Messi. Not bad company.
And that could be something we might be able to count on again next season, as Sarri once again confirmed that Chelsea will look to keep Giroud, despite the veteran striker’s warnings about (the lack of) playing time.
“The club has an option for another year, another season. I spoke to the club two days ago and we agreed to exercise the option. So, he will remain. He cannot do anything, but I spoke with the club and I spoke with Marina wo days ago and Olivier will remain with us and she didn’t say to me anything about this question.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Sky