Even before a ball was kicked in anger, the Europa League final was already a strange game. It was a London derby, one of the biggest in the history of either team, staged 2500 miles from London. It kicked off at 11pm local time. It featured a Chelsea legend in the Arsenal goal and an Arsenal legend leading the Chelsea line. Thankfully Giroud got the best of this bizarro exchange.
As is custom in the world of football, one does not celebrate against one’s old club, for ... um ... reasons? ... and uh ... class? ... or whatever. Even though world football also functions as a cutthroat business and loyalty only exists insofar as ones talents can be profited from, it’s still expected that a player scoring against his former club will react to it with all the meekness of being caught releasing a fart in church.
Giroud didn’t (really) and that was fine. Of course, I’m on the Blue side of this equation so naturally I think this is all hilarious (it is), but I see former players score against Chelsea all the time, and the last thing I care about is if they celebrate or not.
Giroud’s goal was a lovely twisting bullet header from an Emerson cross. The way he took the chance was a pure center forward masterpiece; curling around his defender and propelling the ball with his MEATY FRENCH FOREHEAD with great power and accuracy, skipping it beyond Petr Čech’s despairing reach and into the back of the net.
It deserved to be celebrated.
After scoring, Giroud leapt up only to drop to his knees after a step and point to the sky with both index fingers before being mobbed by ecstatic teammates. He then showed his palms in that all too familiar ‘farted in church’ way, got up and trotted back to the center circle. Still, it was enough for the question to be asked post-match.
”I am very proud, this team deserved to win something. It was special for me, I am happy for this club. It’s my second trophy in two years. These two clubs changed my life, they gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
I didn’t want to celebrate against Arsenal but I am so proud to win this trophy with Chelsea.”
–Olivier Giroud; source: Express
Diplomatic. Reasoned. Gracious. Classy. What a guy. This is what sports should be: Guys suppressing their emotions to protect the lies that have been crafted around professional sports so us everyday people feel better about ourselves. Thank you, supremely talented human beings, for taking on the burden of helping us raise our children.
Anyway here’s Giroud holding the trophy and screaming ‘THANK YOU ARSENAL!’ into a camera.