On this day in 2017: Olivier Giroud nets scorpion kick as Arsenal move to third

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  • Arsenal
    Arsenal
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  • Olivier Giroud
    Olivier Giroud
    French association football player

An outrageous scorpion kick from Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal start the New Year with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on this day in 2017 and saw them move up to third place in the Premier League.

The backheeled volley was described by manager Arsene Wenger as the greatest goal he had seen at the Emirates Stadium and it later earned the Frenchman the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year.

The goal followed something of a purple patch for Giroud, who had made only three appearances in Arsenal’s first nine matches of the 2016–17 Premier League season, all of them as a substitute.

On October 29, he went on against Sunderland in the 69th minute and scored two goals with his first two touches in Arsenal’s 4–1 away win.

Then, on November 19, he scored an 89th-minute equaliser after appearing as a substitute in a 1–1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

He then made his first Premier League start of the season on Boxing Day and scored in a 1–0 home defeat of West Brom.

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring the opening goal
Giroud (left) celebrates scoring the opening goal against Palace (Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal went on to finish fifth in the table that season but Giroud made his mark in the 2017 FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute with the score 1–1 and a minute later delivering an assist for Aaron Ramsey to score the winning goal which helped his side lift the trophy for a record-breaking 13th time.

In September 2017, Giroud scored his 100th goal for the club in Arsenal’s 4-2 Europa League win away to BATE Borisov and signed for Chelsea four months later.

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