A bizarre statistic surrounding the World Cup performances of France striker Olivier Giroud has come to the fore online, following Les Bleus’ final triumph over Croatia.
The two nations went head to head in Luzhniki in the finale of this summer’s thrilling showpiece yesterday evening, with France having eventually emerged with a thrilling 4-2 victory.
It didn’t take long for Didier Deschamps’ men to take the lead, as Antoine Griezmann’s devilish free-kick was flicked home by the unfortunate Mario Mandzukic after the former had blatantly dived to earn his side the set-piece opportunity in the 18th-minute.
Croatia deservedly pulled level 10 minutes later, though, when a brilliantly worked free-kick eventually saw the ball drop to Ivan Perisic on the edge of the box, with the Inter Milan man’s superb first-touch and subsequent strike having flown past the helpless Hugo Lloris into the bottom-right corner of the French goal.
But, despite Croatia having dominated the vast majority of the opening 45 minutes, France went ahead once more shortly before half-time, when a whipped free-kick from the right saw Ivan Perisic adjudged to have handled the ball, resulting in a penalty, which was subsequently dispatched by Antoine Griezmann.
And Croatia’s failure to convert their superiority in possession into goals came back to bite Zlatko Dalic’s men in a major way during a disastrous 7-minute spell around the hour mark, when Paul Pogba first put Les Bleus 3-1 up with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the area, before Kylian Mbappe put the game to bed with a long-range daisy-cutter a short time later.
Though Mario Mandzukic did manage to pull one back following a shocking Hugo Lloris mistake on the 70-minute mark, France comfortably held on for the remainder of the clash, and have since been crowned the world champions for the second time in the country’s history.
The 24 hours since Les Bleus lifted the trophy have since seen various statistics surrounding the stellar showings of a number of the country’s stars in Russia come to the fore online, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Rapahel Varane and N’Golo Kante heavily praised.
However, a stat on the performances of one individual, in the form of Olivier Giroud, has since garnered more attention than any other, but not for altogether positive reasons…
The Chelsea striker, who featured in all 7 of France’s outings, 6 of which came as starts, incredibly managed to not aim a single shot on target over the course of the entire World Cup, despite attempting 13 efforts:
FACT: Olivier Giroud played over 8 hours of football at the 2018 World Cup
He did not manage a single shot on target. pic.twitter.com/f8F7Sdi8lA
— Football Stuff (@FootbalIStuff) July 15, 2018
In Giroud’s defence, though he didn’t find the net or even hit the target once over the last month, the veteran hitman did prove a crucial presence up top for Didier Deschamps’ men, with his hold-up play and presence as an outlet having proven invaluable to the fortunes of the world champions.