LONDON (Reuters) - Olivier Giroud was singled out for praise by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard for his contribution since the resumption of the Premier League, after the French international’s winner against Norwich City on Tuesday night.
“He deserves a lot of credit and just before the lockdown he came in and was part of a couple of big results too,” Lampard said.
The 33-year-old World Cup winner netted just before half-time to consolidate Chelsea’s third place in the Premier League, as they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge and moved closer to securing a Champions League berth.
Giroud has scored four goals since the league’s return to action last month and six overall this season – all since February.
“That’s probably credit he was due anyway. He’s never given me a problem, he’s always trained brilliantly. When Tammy (Abraham) was playing really well earlier in the season and regularly staying in the team, his (Giroud) professionalism was always good.
“I told him in January I wanted him to stay, he was fantastic how he handled that and he’s continued to show that in the way he trains and the way he plays. He’s important for us,” added Lampard.
Giroud has been at Chelsea since a mid-season switch from Arsenal in 2018 but struggled to find the same goalscoring form he showed with the Gunners.
He was one of five changes that Lampard made on Tuesday after a disappointing 3-0 loss to Sheffield United at the weekend and he could now start again when the Blues take on Manchester United in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.
Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Chopra