Lampard considering Giroud for Leeds clash after Sevilla masterclass

By Stephen Creek 3 December 2020 82
Lampard considering Giroud for Leeds clash after Sevilla masterclass

Olivier Giroud staked his claim for a regular place in Chelsea's starting line-up after scoring four goals against Sevilla, according to the last player to net four in a game for the Blues, head coach Frank Lampard.

Giroud scored with his left foot, right foot, his head, and netted a penalty at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as the 34-year-old became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the modern Champions League and the first Chelsea player to hit four since Lampard did so against Aston Villa in 2010.

His performance, which followed another match-winning appearance in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Rennes a week earlier, left Lampard unable to deny that the World Cup winner is in contention for a place in the first XI to face Leeds United on Saturday.

Giroud has yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea this season, but when asked whether he had a good claim for a place, Lampard told BT Sport: "Yeah, he does. I'll have to see because it is a tight turnaround but it's four goals in a game.

"It's not just his own performance but when you play Ollie and you utilise his strengths and still maintain threats from the side with speed and quality play from the middle of the park, then you see a real nice balance about our attacking play.

"It's not easy scoring four but again he's done it on this level against a really top opponent. His input into the goals was really top class."

Having seen his men draw 0-0 with Tottenham three days earlier, Lampard rotated his team and brought in Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz along with Giroud, while resting Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner and Mason Mount.

He was rewarded with a performance full of confidence as Havertz, Mateo Kovacic and substitute N'Golo Kante all assisted goals for Giroud before the France international scored a late penalty.

Chelsea are now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions and Lampard said: "I'm delighted with the team. To come here against a very strong Sevilla team – they made changes, so did we – it's a difficult place to come and the team performance from start to finish was great because it had everything.

"There were moments in the first half when it was tough for us, and we dealt with those moments, and our play was just brilliant."

Returning his attention to Giroud, who has suggested he could leave in January if he is not afforded more game time, Lampard added: "What I am bothered about is what he gives us on the pitch, what he gives us off the pitch and around it. Everyone's delighted for him because of how he is, how he trains and how he plays."

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