Olivier Giroud, renowned for his striking abilities, found himself in an unfamiliar position for AC Milan during their Serie A match against Genoa on Saturday night.
The forward was called upon to play as a goalkeeper after Mike Maignan was shown a red card for a dangerous challenge. Giroud not only took on the role but also made a crucial save to secure Milan’s 1-0 victory.
AC Milan entered the match aiming to extend their lead at the top of the Serie A table. They had enjoyed a strong start to the season, with six significant wins and just one defeat, which had come against their city rivals, Inter Milan. A victory against Genoa would help them maintain their lead over Inter in second place.
For most of the game, it seemed like a goalless draw was on the horizon, as neither team managed to break the deadlock. However, in the 87th minute, Christian Pulisic found the breakthrough, scoring with a clinical finish inside the box. This marked Pulisic’s fourth goal of the season and showcased his successful adaptation to his new club after moving from Chelsea.
Both goalkeepers then sent off
But then, chaos followed. Genoa attempted to get back into the game with a long ball over the top, with Milan shot-stopper Maignan forced to come out to clear his lines. However, he did so in a dangerous manner, cleaning out the attacker in the process. After a VAR intervention, the French international was shown a red card for the offence in the 98th minute, with Giroud forced to go in goal as Milan had used all their substitutes.
Some incredible MMA goalkeeping from Mike Maignan. Olivier Giroud in nets now playing like prime Buffon. pic.twitter.com/e2iYMmjhwi
— Martin (@megamarvatron) October 7, 2023
Following the free-kick resulting from Milan’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan’s red card, Albert Gudmunsson stepped up and struck a shot that deflected off the wall and hit the crossbar. Giroud could only watch as the ball bounced off the woodwork before Milan managed to clear it away, averting the danger.
The match saw even more dramatic events unfold. Milan successfully cleared the ball from the subsequent corner, but Genoa’s goalkeeper, Josep Martinez, made a desperate attempt to regain possession and slid in on Yunus Musah, catching him with his follow-through. As a result, the referee had no option but to send off another goalkeeper in the game, this time with 103 minutes on the clock.
Giroud makes huge save to guarantee win
The match had already been filled with unbelievable scenes, but there was one more significant moment yet to unfold. With both teams reduced to 10 men and two outfield players in goal due to the goalkeeper dismissals, Genoa had a late opportunity to secure a point in the dying moments of the game.
The ball was played through for George Puscas, who stormed his way into the penalty area to send a shot towards goal. But Giroud was out in a flash to make a huge save, smothering the ball once before then claiming it to ensure Milan left with all three points.
Impressive reflexes from the 37-year-old. Maybe in another life, he would have made a fine goalkeeper for Arsenal, Chelsea, and the French national team. Check out his impressive save for yourselves below.
Video: Giroud makes big save against Genoa
I can’t stop watching Oliver Giroud’s save LMAOOO pic.twitter.com/Ktqv4z122L
— 🦅 (@nemaccer) October 7, 2023
That save proved to be decisive, with Milan remaining at the top of the table. They are now two points clear of Inter heading into the international break, but face a huge challenge when they return against Juventus on Sunday 22nd October. Don’t expect to Giroud in-between the posts for that game, though.