Giroud’s Magic Touch has Chelsea Dreaming of FA Cup Glory
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Giroud’s Magic Touch has Chelsea Dreaming of FA Cup Glory

Chelsea don’t have Lionel Messi in their ranks, but for a brief moment Olivier Giroud morphed into the Argentina superstar to net the goal that propelled the Blues towards the final of the FA Cup.

Southampton had put up stubborn resistance in the first half of their semi-final, and it looked like it would take something special to break them down. Up stepped Giroud.

Chelsea fans questioned the merit of signing Giroud in January. The France international has proved a capable Premier League player who has flashes of brilliance in him, but too often he flatters to deceive.

But at Wembley on Sunday, he proved to be the darling of the Chelsea faithful with a quite brilliant goal in which he slalomed his way past a string of Southampton defenders before poking the ball into the back of the net.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game, and it set Chelsea on their way to victory which was completed when Alvaro Morata netted eight minutes from time.

Chelsea can now shift their attentions to an FA Cup final with Manchester United who came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur the previous day.

Blues boss Antonio Conte will hope Giroud is his lucky charm in what may well be his final game in charge of Chelsea. Giroud has won all 10 of his club appearances at Wembley, including three FA Cup finals with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and he is determined to add another with the Blues.

“I said to the boys I really want to win another one with Chelsea, that’s the target for the end of the season,” he told the club’s official website. “We really want to win this trophy. It’s a special competition for me. We are going to give our best in the championship and then prepare for an amazing final.”

Manchester United and Chelsea will be thrilled to be battling it out for the FA Cup final, but it’s not how either club would have expected their season to pan out.

Both fell short in the Champions League and were left trailing by Manchester City in the Premier League.

United boss Jose Mourinho is safe in his position and will get the chance to rebuild his side in the summer. For Conte, he looks set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. But will it be on the back of a trophy parade around west London, or ushered out of the back door?

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