News Matches
African All Stars

Giroud or Osimhen: Who scored the better goal against Crystal Palace?

8:44 PM IST 17/12/22
Giroud Osimhen
The strikers have netted outstanding goals versus the South London club almost five years apart in 2017 and 2022

Very little connects Victor Osimhen and Olivier Giroud. The former is Nigerian, whereas the latter is French. One still has his career ahead of him, and the other could call it a day soon.

Perhaps the one thing that links both marksmen is their participation in Serie A, where Osimhen represents Napoli and Giroud plays for defending Italian champions AC Milan.

This all changed last week when the Partenopei striker netted the equaliser in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Some could wonder where the connection originates, however they are instantly reminded of Giroud’s outstanding finish against the Eagles at the Emirates Stadium at the turn of the year in 2017.

In a sense, it was a shame Osimhen’s goal was witnessed by a handful of people in attendance, giving it little attention and coverage, with most observers taking to social media or video-sharing websites like YouTube to see the Super Eagle’s goal.

On the other hand, a full house in North London saw the Frenchman’s immaculate strike versus Palace. Which goal was superior?

Olivier Giroud’s “scorpion kick”

17 minutes into Arsenal’s opening game of 2017 brought what turned out to win FIFA's Puskas Award as the best goal of the year.

It was a flowing counter-attack that began from Lucas Perez’s interception of Mathieu Flamini’s pass intended for Wilfried Zaha.

The ball was soon at Hector Bellerin’s feet after Perez’s intervention and the right-back immediately sent a vertical pass to Giroud, who dropped deeper to get involved. The Frenchman’s one-touch flick not only found Granit Xhaka with room in midfield but also took James Tomkins and a retreating Flamini out of the game momentarily.

Xhaka played a swift pass to Alex Iwobi in the left half-space and the Nigeria international sent a forward pass to Alexis Sanchez, who picked up the ball on the edge of the Palace box.

With five players in the Eagles’ box, and three nearby, the Chilean’s ball had to be inch-perfect…and it was, albeit slightly behind Giroud.

However, the France international improvised tremendously, sticking out his left boot and flicking the attacker’s ball into the goal off the underside of the bar.

It raised the roof inside the Emirates and was fittingly followed by a knee-slide celebration.

“You cannot work on that in training,” said Arsene Wenger. “It was an exceptional goal because it was at the end of a fantastic collective move.

“I’ve had many great players and great strikers and that is certainly in the top five. He transformed the goal into art.”

Arsenal scored 12 seconds after Perez intercepted Flamini’s pass.

Victor Osimhen’s impressive goal

Napoli had just conceded to Patrick Vieira’s crew in the 33rd minute, but Osimhen’s immediate response brought them level just before the 35th-minute mark.

The Nigerian controlled Matteo Politano’s cross with his chest, whilst holding off Marc Guehi, and with Tomkins close.

Nevertheless, the Super Eagle was undaunted. Admittedly, the ball broke kindly in the seconds that followed, yet the Nigerian’s ability to flick the ball over Will Hughes and Tomkins before turning sharply to volley into the bottom corner was commendable.

It went into the intermission 1-1, and goals from Giacomo Raspadori completed the turnaround for the Italian side.

World Cup finalist Giroud has demonstrated his knack for scoring audacious goals throughout his career, and that effort against Palace on New Year’s Day probably ranks among his finest.

The fact that the goal materialised after a smooth team move from the edge of their box adds to the beauty of the strike. In truth, it is a straightforward debate.