BY PAUL LAGAN
Olivier Giroud will be back on the bench tomorrow despite bagging all four goals for Chelsea in their midweek thumping of Sevilla in the Champions League.
The French World Cup winner, 34 scored a perfect hat-trick and a penalty as the west Londoners guaranteed top spot in Group E with a game to spare.
Chelsea face Leeds United at the Bridge in the evening game but it will be Tammy Abraham who starts up front. It will be tough on Giroud, who is keen to be playing regular football ahead of next summer’s Euros.
Of his four-goal haul, he said: “It’s always nice to be a part of club history.
“You play football to write great stories. I’m proud. I had great assists from my team-mates and I just tried to finish the job.
“When I’m on the pitch I’m the happiest man. I just try to be patient, keep the faith and bring something else to the team. It is always special to play in the Champions League and it was an important game to finish first in the group, so I’m pleased to help the team to win.
“Sometimes you feel anything can happen, and that was one of them.”
Head coach Frank Lampard’s decision to drop him fuels the expectation that he will move on in the January transfer market.
He was keen to exit the Bridge this January but saw an opportunity to leap ahead of Abraham, who saw a significant drop in form and he opted to stay.
Inter Milan are favourites to test that resolve next month.
Lampard, asked about the prospect of dumping his four-goal hero on the bench, said: “I always say when I pick the team I try to pick the best team for the game, and not to have favourites as such.
“You try to put the best team on paper, but when players play like they did today they give you a great problem.”
Chelsea Women host West Ham United on Sunday.
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