Thomas Tuchel hails Olivier Giroud’s unseen qualities after winner vs Atletico

Thomas Tuchel claims Olivier Giroud is defying age by playing like a 20-year-old after his spectacular winner.

Veteran Giroud, at 34 years and 146 days, became the oldest player to score in a Champions League knock-out tie and put Chelsea on course to reach the quarter finals.

Chelsea boss Tuchel said: “If you see him on a daily basis you cannot be surprised.

"He is totally fit, his body is in shape, his physically its is on top level and mentally I feel he enjoys everyday being a professional soccer player

“He trains like a 20 year old, 24 year old, the guy who is a good mix of serious and enjoying training.

"[He is] always positive and a big factor for the group, when he starts and comes off the bench he has all the qualities. He is good like this.

“He can be proud. I am super happy for my players and the team that we have such a big reward and can read it on the scoreline, that we have a top result for the performance.

“It was very important we are absolutely concentrated over all 96 minutes, that we accept it is very hard to create chances, we did all that and it was a very good team effort.”

Giroud has 11 goals this season, including six in the Champions League, and this one survived a long VAR check which overruled an offside flag and stood as a priceless away goal.

Giroud said: ”We came here with strong intentions to play our game. We knew how we could give them trouble offensively and we've been strong and together at the back.

"We are pleased with the win and it's deserved. We know the importance of the away goal in the Champions League. We were confident.

"We faced a great team but were very committed. We dealt with their main strengths and need to stay focused and finish the job at home.

"I wasn't over confident. I didn't know what to think. I was pleased to see it go in the back of the net but had no clue about being off-side. It's good for the team and good for me.”

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone said: “There are still three weeks to think about the second leg but, for sure, we have to think better against Chelsea.”

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