Chelsea matchwinner Giroud is ‘always positive’

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel says Olivier Giroud’s positivity is a huge influence on the club.

The 34-year-old scored his sixth goal in the Champions League this season as the Blues earned an impressive 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie in Bucharest.

The second-half winner, a spectacular overhead kick, gives Tuchel’s side a valuable away goal for the return leg on Wednesday, 17 March.

Giroud has only started 10 games from a total of 22 club appearances this season, but he has scored 11 goals.

“He’s always positive and it’s a big factor for the group,” Tuchel said at his post-match press conference. “Whether he starts or is on the bench he has all these qualities.

“He can be proud. If you see him on a daily basis you cannot be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape, his physicality is at the top level.

“Mentally, he tries every day being a professional top player at this level and this is the level he needs to be.

“He is the guy who brings a mix of seriousness and joy in training.”

Tuesday’s result puts Chelsea in a strong position going into the second leg.

But they will be without Mason Mount and Jorginho as both players are suspended after picking up yellow cards in the first leg.

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