Chelsea star Eden Hazard has praised his teammate Olivier Giroud and added that the experience and expertise of the Frenchman will be key to his side’s chances in the FA Cup final.
The 31-year-old delivered a spectacular performance and scored the opening goal as Chelsea defeated Southampton 2-0 on Sunday in this season’s FA Cup semi-final to advance to the final, where they will play Manchester United.
Hazard believes that Giroud’s expertise and experience will be key to the Blues beating the Red Devils at Wembley, saying: “I hope that we will win it this time – last year we sadly lost the final. But we have Olivier Giroud now. He often wins finals. Certainly the FA Cup.”
The FA Cup final will present Chelsea with their only chance of winning silverware this season, in what has been frustrating term for them. They have been lacklustre in their defence of the Premier League title, never presenting a real threat to this season’s champions, Manchester City, who sailed to the title.
The contest could also well be Antonio Conte’s last game in charge at Stamford Bridge. Conte is expected by many to depart at the end of the season as he is at odds with the club’s board over their transfer policy.
Giroud is no stranger to winning the FA Cup, having won the competition three times in the past with Arsenal, including last season, where the Gunners defeated Chelsea in the final.
Many were surprised when Chelsea opted to sign the Frenchman in January to add depth to the club’s frontline after Alvaro Morata was clearly struggling in front of goal. While he did not make an immediate impact at the club, he has begun to deliver during recent weeks and his performance against the Saints on Sunday presented arguably his best moment in a Chelsea jersey so far.
Hazard added: “He has qualities. We all know that. Of course, we don’t often see those tricks of him, but it proves that he’s a good player. Not only with his header or his physical game, he has other qualities too. Maybe he should score more goals in this way. That would be good.”