MILAN (AFP) – Olivier Giroud struck a huge blow for AC Milan in the Serie A title race with the only goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Napoli which fired his team top of the pile.
Veteran forward Giroud diverted home a wayward shot three minutes after the break at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to put Milan two points clear of local rivals Inter Milan.
Champions Inter, who have a game in hand, had claimed the summit on Friday with a 5-0 thumping of Salernitana but now sit second, a point ahead of Napoli.
The Frenchman’s eighth league goal of the season was his first away from the San Siro since signing from Chelsea in the summer and came on an eventful night for the 35-year-old.
“I always try to do my job when I’m in the area, to be in the right place at the right time,”
“I don’t want to talk about the Scudetto right now but we’re hoping to win something this year. We’re ambitious and we’ll fight to the end.”
It looked as though Giroud wouldn’t finish the match midway through the first half when he was flattened by Kalidou Koulibaly and was down for over two minutes as medical staff tried to patch up a bleeding gash above his ankle.
Giroud then clattered into David Ospina seven minutes before half-time, leaving the Napoli goalkeeper worryingly prone on the grass before he eventually got up and carried on.
A recovered Ospina did well to tip aside Ismael Bennacer’s low drive just before the hour mark, while Theo Hernandez and Alexis Saelemaekers could have extended the margin of victory late on in a hugely impressive display which underlines their title credentials.