Olivier Giroud shines in France’s 3-0 win

June 09, 2021
France’s Olivier Giroud (left) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Bulgaria during the international friendly football match at the Stade De France in Saint Denis, North of Paris, France, yesterday.
France’s Olivier Giroud (left) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Bulgaria during the international friendly football match at the Stade De France in Saint Denis, North of Paris, France, yesterday.

PARIS (AP):

Karim Benzema limped off injured late in the first half and his replacement Olivier Giroud scored twice as France completed their European Championship warm-up with a 3-0 home win against Bulgaria yesterday.

Giroud hardly played for Chelsea this past season but remains effective for France. His brace moved him on to 46 goals for Les Bleus - just five behind former Arsenal great Thierry Henry's national record of 51.

Antoine Griezmann scored the first with a slick overhead kick that took a slight deflection off a defender's head in the 29th minute and moved him on to 37 international goals.

Giroud turned in a cross from the right to the front post with a neat flick in the 83rd and was then set up by fellow substitute Wissam Ben Yedder for a close-range shot in the 90th.

"When I'm called upon, the most important thing is to do the job," Giroud said.

He replaced Benzema shortly before half-time.

Benzema hurt his right leg around the knee area after rising for a header with Griezmann and clipping a Bulgaria defender's leg after losing balance on the way down.

The injury did not appear serious, with Benzema resuming and asking to be taken off and then sitting on the bench as he received a quick massage.

"It's a dead leg," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "He took a blow to the muscle just above the right knee. We are not taking any risks and the medical staff is looking after him."

Benzema was given a loud ovation from the fans at Stade de France and applauded them back as he trudged off.

Kylian Mbappe went close for France in an otherwise subdued second half in which Bulgaria could have equalised in the 79th, only to skewer a shot wide of the left post after breaking into the penalty area.

France open their Euro 2020 campaign next Tuesday against Germany in Munich.

Other Sports Stories