Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here comes Olivier Giroud in added-on time, clad in a Mike Maignan shirt, with fist extended in goalkeeper gloves, eyes squeezed shut because WHAT AM I DOING HERE ... and just hoping that his punch hits the right ball.
And it does!
And then he dives on the loose ball, holding on for dear life, as his teammates descend on him to slap him on his back as if they were all Ashely Coles congratulating Petr Čech for saving Arjen Robben’s penalty in extra-time on May 19.
And that, boys and girls, is how Olivier Giroud helped keep a clean sheet for 10-man AC Milan at Genoa, preserving their 1-0 win to move two points clear at the top of the early-season Serie A table. Rivals Inter Milan had dropped two points at home by giving up a two-goal lead earlier in the day, creating the separation across the two halves of the city.
Giroud was pressed into service after the previous occupant of his shirt tried to decapitate a Genoa player with his knee. Somehow this took a VAR review to be given as a red card, but Maignan eventually walked and with Milan out of substitutions, Giroud added to his legend and took his place between the sticks.
Five minutes later, his now counter-part, Josep Martínez also walked, for a second yellow, which meant that both teams finished with their starting goalkeepers sent off.
Christian Pulisic’s 87th-minute winner (“Yes we can! USA! USA! USA!, screamed the Rossoneri announcer) suddenly became the least bonkers highlight of the most bonkers final 15 minutes of this otherwise remarkably unremarkable game. Pulisic has four goals in his first eight Serie A matches, mind.
Football, bloody hell!
(Fikayo Tomori also played his heart out in this one, as usual, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek missed out through a minor-ish injury. He’s expected to be back after the break.)