SPECTACULAR: Olivier Giroud (centre, in red) executes his scorpion kick against Crystal Palace
DID OLIVER GIROUD score the goal of the season with his scorpion kick for Arsenal's opener against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day ? What added weight for Giroud's claim was the sweeping move in which he was involved in at the early stages as Lucas Perez won possession deep inside his own half.
Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi and the assist from Alexis Sanchez added to an all round team effort with Giroud having to go behind with his leg flick to scoop up and over and in past Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey. Iwobi added a second for a 2-0 scoreline but all the talk was and remains about Giroud's stunning scorpion goal
Arsene Wenger certainly felt it was special, special enough to include it in his top five. When you think Wenger is in his 21st year at Arsenal, that is a elite club to which Giroud has just received his membership to. But what esteemed company has the Arsenal striker just joined?
"When he opened the scoring I don’t know - I’ve been spoilt in my career, because I’ve had many great players and many great strikers. That is certainly in the top five.
"I remember Bergkamp, Henry… these special goals, you know. Bergkamp at Leicester, at Newcastle. Thierry Henry against Real Madrid, against Liverpool - these kind of goals. Kanu at Chelsea! It’s difficult for me not to forget goals in 20 years, when you score about 70/80 per year. By 20 ( years ) makes 1,600 goals - it’s difficult in a second to get the best five," said Wenger who agreed that the importance of the game also elevates the state of the game.
"Of course. When it’s 0-0 you want to start. What is maybe not enough acknowledged by people, maybe even by me, is that Olivier scores important goals. He scores at Man United with a special header this season to make it 1-1, he scores against West Brom in the 87th minute. He scores goals that have a weight in the result of the team," said Wenger.
One wonders what kind of training regime exists at Arsenal to enhance such play, but Wenger revealed that Giroud's goal was pure reflex and instinct.
"You cannot work on that in training. It’s just a reflex. I think it was an exceptional goal because it was at the end of a fantastic collective moment, which is what our game is about. After that, it was a reflex that any goalscorer is able to take any part of his body, even if it is a little toe, to score a goal.
" I think Olivier had that kind of reflex. He transformed that goal into art - because of the surprise, because of the beauty of the movement and because of the efficiency. That will be remembered as the Giroud goal that nobody will forget. Every striker is certainly remembered for one, two or three special goals - and that will certainly be with him forever.
"He brings the unexpected, and we all come to football to get the unexpected. People come to the games to see these kind of goals, yes," concluded the Arsenal boss.
The Gunners have now won back to back home matches in the Premier League and will look to continue that winning momentum for their trip to Bournemouth on Tuesday ( January 3).