Soccer. « This double was an incredible emotion », six months later, Olivier Giroud again ready to shine in the Milan derby

Three minutes later, Giroud had struck twice and completely relaunched the title race by bringing the Rossoneri to one point behind the Nerazzurri: the start of a suspenseful end to the season concluded by the coronation on the wire of AC Milan. « This double was an incredible emotion, in front of the Curva Sud (the turn of the ultras milanesti, editor’s note). If Inter had won, it would have been almost inaccessible », he told the Italian media this summer.

Giroud, very religious, even saw a divine sign in his two goals placed under the sign of the « Madonnina », the little Virgin overlooking the Duomo of Milan which gives its name to the derby between the two clubs of the city.

After a dotted first half of the season marked by injuries and spent in the shadow of star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this February evening had changed everything: the former Montpellier striker has since shown himself to be indispensable in Milan and has even made an unexpected return in March to the France team, after months away from the Blues.

Inter without Lukaku

Giroud (112 caps) took the opportunity to score twice and come within three goals of record holder Thierry Henry (51). However, he was still « forgotten » by Didier Deschamps in June. Proof that the World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18) is still a long way off for the 2018 world champion, in a team led by stars Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema.

>>READ ALSO: After the sinking of the Blues in the League of Nations, should we remember Olivier Giroud?

Surprisingly, despite his almost 36th birthday (he will celebrate on September 30), these four June international matches for which he was not called up are the only ones he has not been able to play in 2022. With Milan, he did not miss any appointment, neither in the league nor in the Italian Cup, also because of the pain in a knee which disturbed Ibrahimovic – operated in May, the Swede will not return until 2023.

The Isérois largely contributed to the end of the season canon of the Rossoneri (16 matches without defeat) by scoring key goals on the road to the scudetto, in Naples (1-0) or his double in the decisive match of the last day against Sassuolo (3-0).

The French opened his counter this season with a fine volley against Bologna (2-0), at the end of August, and remains more than ever the lethal weapon of the Milanese at the forefront, despite the arrival of the Belgian Divock Origi.

But this eternal ghost also knows that nothing is ever acquired: « the season after a title is always the most difficult, because the teams are waiting for you », he underlined on Milan TV. Starting with a revengeful Inter, Saturday, with a Lautaro Martinez decided to steal the crown of « king » of Milan in the absence of Romelu Lukaku.

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