By Le Figaro with AFP
Stefano Pioli is full of praise for his French striker, who finished as Milan goalkeeper against Genoa.
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli praised Olivier Giroud’s performance who improvised as a goalkeeper after the exclusion of Mike Maignan on Saturday during his team’s victory against Genoa (1-0).
“What + Ollie + did was the embodiment of our state of mind, our mentality, of a group that always wants to give its maximum”welcomed Pioli.
As he had made all his substitutions when Maignan was sent off in added time (90+9th) for going out on his knee in front of Caleb Ekuban, the Italian coach had to reposition one of his outfield players in the goals. “We first thought of Christian Pulisic, but it was not our best option because of his height (1.78 m, Editor’s note). +Ollie+ emerged as the right solution and he did a good job”he explained.
The French international, top scorer in the history of the Blues, made a decisive double intervention by plunging his fist forward in front of the Romanian George Puscas, then grabbing the ball, just in front of another Genoa player, in position to score.
Giroud loved playing goalkeeper as a kid!
“I almost made a save worthy of a goalkeeper”smiled Giroud on the DAZN platform. “I took my courage in both hands, I threw myself at the ball without knowing what was going to happen. I never thought I would experience this kind of emotion on this side of the field. When I was little, I liked playing goalkeeper”he recalled, before publishing a photo on social networks showing him with his green goalkeeper jersey, dedicated to “Magic Mike” Maignan.
Thanks to this victory, AC Milan took the lead in Serie A by overtaking Inter and is two points ahead of its great rival, held to a draw at home by Bologna (2-2).
After the international break, AC Milan will host Juventus on October 22 as part of the 9th day without Mike Maignan or Theo Hernandez, who will serve a one-match suspension, respectively for his exclusion and for accumulation of warnings.
“We will find solutions to replace them”ured Pioli who will not, however, have to reuse Giroud in goals.