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08th Oct 2023

Olivier Giroud goes in net for AC Milan and pulls off crucial save in the 104th minute

Callum Boyle

Olivier Giroud

From scoring goals to stopping goals

Oliver Giroud became a hero for AC Milan in their win against Genoa, but not for any last minute winners.

Rather than scoring a winner, the Frenchman was forced to put the goalkeeping gloves on after Milan’s shot-stopper, Mike Maignan, was sent off.

Stefano Pioli’s side took the lead with three minutes to go as Christian Pulisic rifled his effort home but the Rossoneri’s resolved was tested after they were reduced to 10.

Maignan was sent off for a late tackle on Caleb Ekuban and having used all of their substitutes, Giroud took on the responsibility of going in goal.

Giroud was forced into action towards the end of the game and pulled off the most important save of the game in stoppage time.

The Frenchman rushed off his line to intercept what looked to be a certain goal, parrying away the effort before moving quickly to smother the ball and deny Genoa the chance to rescue a point.

Genoa continued to huff and puff to find an equaliser but their own goalkeeper was also shown a red after a late challenge on Fikayo Tomori.

Milan held on though and took a precious three points away from the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

After the game, Pioli had all the praise in the world for his veteran striker. He told Sky Sports Italia: “It never happened before, it was Christian Pulisic who wanted to go in goal and we told him he was too short, so Oli got the job.

“A lot of strange things happened during the match, we knew it would be difficult, but we held out well. This is a victory of mentality, character, strength and I am very satisfied with my players.

“We had five away games in eight, so being in this position makes us very happy. We know that there are many things we can and must do better.

“It is too early to look at the table, there will be three or four teams fighting for the Scudetto, but this result is important for self-esteem after a tough run of fixtures.

“Just three days after the Champions League tie against a team in very good shape, it is remarkable to be able to put in a performance of this intensity and desire.

“Admittedly, it wasn’t the best on a technical level, but we believed to the end.”

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