By Waweru Titus
Olivier Giroud scored a sensational “scorpion kick” volley in the 17th minute enabling Arsenal climb to third place in the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday (1/1/16).
Giroud netted the breath-taking improvised strike reminiscent of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s recent goal for Manchester United against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
The Armenian acrobatically flicked in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s cross with his heel in what was surely considered goal of the season at the time.
Alex Iwobi sealed Arsenal’s victory in the 56th minute, heading in after Scott Dann’s attempt to block Monreal’s cross sent the ball spinning into the air.
Arsenal are now nine points below league leaders Chelsea and are joined in the top four by Tottenham Hotspur, who replaced Manchester City in the Champions League places after demolishing Watford 4-1.
The visitors have won only once in 13 league games, with manager Sam Allardyce awaiting his first victory since taking over from embattled Alan Pardew.
Giroud said that the wonder goal maybe the best this season as he tried everything in his power to utilise the golden opportunity.
“It is not difficult to say it is the best one. 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,” he said.
“Maybe Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 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,” Giroud added.
Both teams are in action on Tuesday. Arsenal make the trip to Bournemouth, while Crystal Palace host bottom club Swansea.
Former Man United legend Gary Neville on Giroud’s goal:
“I never thought I’d see something like this again. Giroud’s is higher and more difficult, probably, than Mkhitaryan’s. That one was incredible, but this is frightening.
“It’s instinctive and you have to say it’s brilliant. He doesn’t normally finish them like that and it’s absolutely incredible.
“I have to say it’s one of the best goals I’ve ever seen. You see sometimes goal that you’ve seen before of a certain type, but when you see two like that in the matter of a week or so it’s incredible.”