Chelsea boss Frank Lampard deserves credit for giving Olivier Giroud game time instead of Michy Batshuayi, despite being open to selling the Frenchman during the January transfer window. That’s according to Liverpool icon Steve Nicol.
Giroud bagged his first goal of the season on Saturday as Chelsea beat Tottenham.
The Blues got the better of ex-manager Jose Mourinho with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
French veteran Giroud was given only his third Premier League start of the season in favour of injured Tammy Abraham.
And the move paid off, with the 33-year-old bagging his only league goal of the season with a brilliant effort to break the deadlock.
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Giroud was played through by Jorginho, but his initial shot was saved by Hugo Loris. After Ross Barkley’s follow up shot hit the post, Giroud controlled and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
He came off after 71 minutes, with Abraham coming on in his place.
And Lampard has been credited for giving Giroud game time only weeks after appearing to try to sell him.
Inter Milan were believed to be desperate to sign the World Cup winner, but were unable to agree a deal before the deadline.
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As a result, he was forced to stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season, with many believing he would simply sit in the reserves.
But with Abraham still not 100-per-cent, Giroud was asked to step in with Batshuayi having failed to deliver this season.
The Belgian has only scored once in 24 league appearances this season.
Speaking on ESPN FC, Nicol explained why he believes Lampard did the right thing by giving Giroud the starting spot.
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“You’ve got to give Frank Lampard credit,” he said.
“I’m sure [the transfer speculation] was why he didn’t play Giroud.
“He gave Batshuayi a chance, and there’s nothing wrong with giving him a chance, but he didn’t quite do it.
“Frank is the bigger man to turn around and play Giroud. You’ve got to give him some credit for that.”
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