London (AFP) – Olivier Giroud said he got “maximum luck” with an outrageous scorpion-kick strike in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace that he labelled as the best goal of his life.
Giroud opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday with an audacious mid-air back-flicked volley that looped into the top corner of Wayne Hennessey’s net.
The 30-year-old appeared almost as stunned as the packed 60,000 crowd by his moment of magic and, speaking after the match, he conceded it was a goal that he could never have dreamt of producing.
“I have maximum luck, it’s just about luck,” Giroud said. “Not at all have I done anything like that before. I tried to deflect it.
“I was a bit lucky but it was the only thing I could do, the ball was behind me and I tried to hit it with a backheel.”
Giroud’s incredible effort came just days after Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a similar goal against Sunderland and the France forward added: “Maybe that goal inspired me. It’s the only thing you can do in that position.
“It is nice for me and the team because we start the year with a win.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has seen many great goals from his players down the years, but he didn’t expect Giroud to join the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie in the roll of honour.
“His reflex surprised everybody who knows football and that’s what makes the goal great,” Wenger said.
“I have been a bit spoilt over the years by the exceptional quality of the players I’ve had, but it will be remembered as an exceptional goal.
“Olly is very good in front of goal, but I’ve never seen this kind of goal from him.”