Olivier Giroud it makes sense to deliver in big games. He did it again on Wednesday with two goals and two assists when he AC Milan to win Salzburg 4-0 to return to the round of 16 Champions League for the first time in nine years.
Giroud opened the scoring in the 14th minute and then almost sealed Milan’s lead in the 57th after allowing Rade Krunic for his first goal in the Champions League in the first minute of the second half. Junior Messiah it rounded off a wonderful night for the Italian champion.
Giroud’s (36) goals in key games last season helped Milan end their 11-year wait for the Serie A title.
Throughout his career, Giroud has developed a reputation for producing at moments that matter. His key goals at the end of the 2019-20 season. they led Chelsea to Champions League qualification and his six goals in the competition helped the London club win their second European title.
Milan finished second in Group E. Salzburg finished third, securing a place in the Europa League playoffs after Dinamo Zagreb lost 2-1 to Chelsea.
The Rossoneri needed at least one point from the last game in the group to pass, while Salzburg would only need one win and an aggressive start from both sides.
The home team started almost perfectly, but Theo Hernandez’s angled shot went wide of the right post with less than three minutes left in the game.
Salzburg also came close to opening the scoring, but Milan defender Fikayo Tomori made a brilliant run through the penalty area and pounced on Maurits Kjaergaard’s shot like a human shield.
Moments later, Milan broke the deadlock when Sandro Tonali crossed from a corner on the left for Giroud to rise almost unopposed to fire into the bottom corner.
Salzburg equalized almost immediately, but Junior Adamu’s curling shot from close range went straight into the arms of Milan goalkeeper Cipriano Tătărușanu.
Giroud thought he had doubled his tally in the 26th when he latched on to the rebound after Philipp Köhn spilled Hernandez’s shot, but it was ruled offside.
Salzburg looked dangerous before the break, but Milan almost killed them immediately after the restart. Ante Rebić crossed from the right, and Giroud headed it into the center for Krunic to head it into the upper left corner.
Salzburg then gifted Milan a third when two of their players tangled as he headed Rafael Leão’s through ball just in front of goal, allowing Giroud to tap in his second of the night.
Leão also hit the crossbar before substitute Junior Messias scored a wonder goal in stoppage time after Giroud’s clearance from the right.
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