Olivier Giroud scouting report: Alvaro Morata given hope after mixed display in Swansea victory

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata are in direct competition for a starting role in Chelsea’s FA Cup final against Manchester United next month.

With just three Premier League games remaining, there’s not much room for error from either player.

The Spaniard had looked to be back in form at the number one choice after netting in games against Leicester City & Tottenham Hotspur either side of the international break but did endure a frustrating evening in the recent win over Burnley at Turf Moor.

That day saw him start alongside Giroud and the Frenchman is beginning to prove his worth in a Blues shirt following his arrival from London rivals Arsenal during the January transfer window.

A brace against Southampton – which inspired Chelsea to a comeback victory – earned him a start in last week’s semi-final win over the same opposition at Wembley and he marked the occasion with a fine goal to break the deadlock.

Antonio Conte will have a big decision on his hands as to who starts in the final, so how did Giroud fare against the Swans and did he do enough to keep Morata on the bench.

0-15
With three goals to his name in as many appearances the Frenchman looked in confident mood as the game got underway.

Pressing the Swansea back line at every opportunity and a hand in Cesc Fabregas’ goal by taking away a couple of defenders to create space for the Spaniard to break the deadlock.

16-30
After a mixed start to the game, Giroud was becoming more and more involved in the game. Was inches away from getting on the end of a Fabregas corner, while his partnership with Eden Hazard was showing signs of promise.

The classic big-man little-man double act almost brought about a second for the Blues as the Belgian was superbly dispossessed by KI Sung-Yueng after latching on to a superb knock down.

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31-45
Decent run down the left but couldn’t shrug off Mike van der Hoorn who matched him stride for stride. Break down in communication with Hazard momentarily almost saw the ball run for Tiemoue Bakayoko and then Giroud was caught offside as he looked to link with the Belgian again.

Very much in the game at this point. Pinning Alfie Mawson back, swapping passes with Cesar Azpilicueta before trying to combine with Hazard who slipped at a vital time.

46-60
Tried to tee up Hazard but got too much on the pass which was a decent opportunity missed and would struggle to hold up the ball as the hosts had started the second half strongly.

61-75
This period wasn’t Giroud at his best. Got into a couple of decent scoring positions but the ball never came to him and his influence began to dip.

76-90
As Conte looked to freshen up his attacking options, Giroud made way for Morata in the 85th minute and might have come off with a feeling of frustration.

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