Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football

Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud's sights set on fourth FA Cup triumph in five years

By Matt McGeechan

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is hoping his love affair with the FA Cup has followed him across London.

Giroud lifted the famous trophy with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and is now looking for more Wembley success with the Blues.

Antonio Conte's side face Southampton in the second semi-final tomorrow, with Manchester United or Tottenham awaiting the winner.

Chelsea's title defence never really got off the ground this season, and they remain five points off the top four despite beating Burnley on Thursday night, but Giroud knows the importance of fighting for cup success.

"I signed here to win trophies. If I win it again, it would be my fourth FA Cup in five years," he said.

"I want to carry on the good momentum because I was unbeaten at Wembley with Arsenal and I want to do it with Chelsea too.

"Of course the FA Cup is very important. Since I have been in England everyone talks about the Premier League but the FA Cup is massive as well. I understand that and I really want it for the fans.

"We are still hoping to qualify for the Champions League, and as long as that's mathematically possible we still have hope, but the FA Cup is something different.

"Obviously Manchester City have done very well this season to be champions and that's why (the title race is) over for this year. But I believe we can compete very well next season.

"I am looking forward to that. But we need to finish the job this season. We are professionals, we are competitors and we will believe until the end."

Giroud lined up in a front two with Alvaro Morata at Turf Moor, a combination that showed signs of promise without either man getting on the scoresheet.

Morata should have done so early in the second half when he missed a straightforward one-on-one with Nick Pope.

The Frenchman was supportive of his colleague, happy to act as a foil rather than a rival for the £60m man.

"We haven't played together much, but it is easy to play with this kind of player, we can find each other easily on the pitch," he said.

"I was a bit sad for him because he didn't score. I tried to help him in the first half and in the second half he could have scored as well.

"I wanted to assist him, but I will do that next time. One thing is sure, when Willian or Eden don't play we just try to give everything for the team."

Mark Hughes admits Southampton's Premier League relegation battle will be in the back of his mind during tomorrow's game.

The Saints take on Antonio Conte's men hoping to reach a first FA Cup final since 2003, but they are teetering near a drop to the Championship as they sit four points from safety with four games left.

"If I am honest it will be," he said. "The day itself is something we can enjoy and we have to make the most of this opportunity. It's not every season you get the chance to get to a major cup final.

"It's an opportunity to get to a major final and we are going there to make sure we don't let it pass by."

Chelsea vs Southampton

Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final

Wembley, tomorrow, 3pm

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph