Giroud magic helps Milan ease to 3-1 win over Roma

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud shone in a convincing 3-1 Serie A win at home to AS Roma on Sunday, due in large part to the Frenchman, who scored one goal and assisted on another.

Giroud, 37, was in the ideal position to head in their second goal before his fantastic back-heel flick put up Theo Hernandez for the third.

Milan are third in the table with 42 points, nine points behind champions Inter Milan and four points behind second-placed Juventus, who play Sassuolo on Tuesday. Roma is tenth in the table with 29 points.

Milan leads Fiorentina by eight points in fourth place after Vincenzo Italiano’s side drew 2-2 at home against Udinese earlier on Sunday due to a late penalty from M’Bala Nzola.

“Clearly, anything can happen at 2-1. We had missed opportunities to score the third goal and were becoming exhausted, but we got there in the end,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli told DAZN.

Pioli was questioned whether Milan was still in contention for the championship.

“No, get us out of there.” We have to concentrate on ourselves, and the goal is clear: we performed well in the first half of the season and want to do even better in the second half,” he said.

“I don’t think 39 points was too bad a tally at the midway stage, but we’ve got to step on the gas now.”

After 11 minutes, Milan broke the stalemate when Yacine Adli got the ball just outside the area, sidestepped his opponent, and fired into the bottom corner.

After 56 minutes, Giroud increased the advantage for the hosts when a cross into the box found Simon Kjaer, who headed the ball over for the Frenchman to head in from close range.

Roma struggled in the first half but improved after the interval, with Leandro Paredes converting a penalty in the 69th minute after Davide Calabria’s trip on Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Nonetheless, Giroud’s exquisite pass set up Hernandez inside the area, and his thunderous shot rattled the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.

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