Champions League: Olivier Giroud becomes oldest player to score hat-trick
Chelsea assured a top spot in Group E of the UEFA Champions League 2020-21 campaign. The Blues, who thrashed Sevilla 4-0 away from home, saw veteran forward Olivier Giroud score all four goals. The Frenchman was decisive as he grabbed the opportunity to make his presence felt for Frank Lampard's side. Giroud became the oldest player to score an UCL hat-trick.
Giroud scored early in each half with two neat finishes after being fed by Kai Havertz and Matteo Kovacic respectively. The former Arsenal forward completed his hat-trick with a flicked near-post header. He then converted a penalty after being bundled over in the box. Chelsea had made nine changes after having earlier sealed qualification on matchday four.
Chelsea boss Lampard praised Giroud for his professionalism. "He's the ultimate professional," said Lampard. "You see his numbers for France and his numbers in the Champions League. "He wasn't a regular before I got here but as soon as I came in I saw his positivity, how he wants to train, how he wants to affect people, whether he starts or not.
Chelsea's Giroud (34 years and 63 days) became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League/European Cup since Ferenc Puskas for Real Madrid versus Feyenoord in September 1965 (38 years and 173 days).
Sevilla were unbeaten in 14 home matches in all European competitions coming into this game (W12 D2). This was their first defeat since April 2018. The Spanish side lost by a four-goal margin on home soil for the very first time. The Blues have won two Champions League games by at least four goals under Frank Lampard.
Giroud became just the second player to a score a Champions League hat-trick for two English sides (Arsenal and Chelsea). Michael Owen (Liverpool and Manchester United) was the first to do so. The Frenchman also became the first Chelsea player to score four goals in a single game since current manager Frank Lampard did so against Aston Villa in March 2010.