Friday, March 22, 2019

Giroud issues EFL Cup warning after Chelsea´s Europa League win

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Feb 2019

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Olivier Giroud welcomed Chelsea’s win over Malmo as a much-needed confidence boost but warned the EFL Cup final will be an entirely different challenge.

Maurizio Sarri’s men warmed up for Sunday’s meeting with Manchester City by easing to a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge and into the Europa League’s last 16.

France striker Giroud and midfielder Ross Barkley, the duo who provided the goals in the 2-1 first-leg success in Sweden, both struck in the second half before Callum Hudson-Odoi added a late third.

The result came as a relief following a run of three defeats in five matches, a deflating sequence which included the 6-0 Premier League loss suffered against City.

“It’s good for confidence but now we need momentum,” Giroud told BT Sport.

“It’s going to be a completely different game at Wembley. It’s a final so we need to play it as a final and learn from the mistakes [we made against City last time].

“We needed some confidence back. That’s why we needed a good win, especially to reassure ourselves defensively.

“We were strong defensively and we were efficient offensively, so it’s a good night for us. We finished the job well. Now we can focus on the next game.”

The impressive Hudson-Odoi gave his hopes of starting on Sunday a big boost with a lively performance in attack.

The 18-year-old was making his first start in almost a month, having been largely overlooked since interest from Bayern Munich ended with him reportedly submitting a transfer request.

Hudson-Odoi said he was unsure whether the display would convince Blues boss Sarri to start him against City, adding: “Hopefully I did well and made an impact.

“The performance from the team was very good. I’m happy with the goal. That’s a bonus to the good work the team did.”

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