Olivier Giroud: Scorpion-kick goal inspired by Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud says his spectacular scorpion-kick goal against Crystal palace was down to "luck" but acknowledged he had been inspired by Henrikh Mkhitaryan's similar effort for Manchester United.
Giroud gave Arsenal the lead in the 17th minute of the 2-0 victory at the Emirates when he met a cross from Alexis Sanchez with a left-footed backheel volley that went over his own head and into the net via the underside of the crossbar. It was immediately hailed as a front-runner for goal of the season and echoed the goal scored by Mkhitaryan against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
Giroud was quick to agree it was the best goal he ever scored, but also told Sky Sports: "I have maximum luck, it's just about luck."
He added in an interview with the BBC: "It is not difficult to say it is the best one [I've scored]. I was a bit lucky but it was the only thing I could do, the ball was behind me and I tried to hit it with a back-heel. Maybe [Mkhitaryan's] goal inspired me, it's the only thing you can do in that position. It is nice for me and the team because we start the year with a win."
Even Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had little choice but to admire the quality of the finish.
"Obviously it was a wonder goal, there seems to be a lot of wonder goals going in recently," Hennessey told Sky Sports. "I haven't seen it again but it's hit the bar and gone in so it's a fantastic strike from him."
And Sam Allardyce was left in similar awe.
"A stunning goal by the way, I must say. Outstanding ability on [Giroud's] finish," the Palace boss said.
Arsene Wenger, who gave Giroud a second straight Premier League start, said it was one of the best goals he's seen during his 20 years at the club.
"He transformed that goal, I would say, into art. Art is there because of the surprise, because of the beauty of the movement," Wenger said. "It will be remembered as the Giroud goal that nobody will forget. Every striker is remembered for two or three special goals, and that will certainly remain with him forever.
"It was a great counter-attack at great speed, his reflex surprised everybody who knows football and that's what makes the goal great. I have been a bit spoiled over the year by the exceptional quality of the players I've had, but it will be remembered as an exceptional goal.
"Olly is very good in front of goal, but I've never seen this kind of goal from him."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.