Giroud getting better  with age at Chelsea Olivier Giroud

LONDON. — Olivier Giroud is a model professional for the Chelsea squad and the 34-year-old striker seems to be getting better with age, manager Frank Lampard said.

The Frenchman scored a late winner against Stade Rennais in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Giroud has yet to start an English Premier League or Champions League game this season but came on as a second-half substitute and scored in stoppage time to seal Chelsea’s 2-1 win and a place in the knockout stages.

“Everybody kind of feels from the outside what a great professional he is, how highly-regarded he is by his teammates and myself,” Lampard told reporters.

“He’s so professional in how he trains and looks after himself that age isn’t even a factor for him. He’s getting better with age if anything, in terms of how he looks after himself.”

Lampard has preferred Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham ahead of Giroud and the striker’s lack of minutes prompted France coach Didier Deschamps to tell him to sort out his situation ahead of next year’s Euros.

But with Chelsea set to play 10 games in six weeks, Lampard said more game time is in store for Giroud, who is France’s second-highest scorer with 44 goals.

“He offers a lot for us and I keep saying it but the big schedule coming up and the way we play means I will rely on players,” Lampard added.

“Thankfully for me he’s a player that always keeps the right attitude if he’s not playing regularly and I know when I call upon him that he comes in as he did today.”

Sehrou Guirassy looked as though he had secured a point for his side with an equaliser minutes earlier, but Giroud profited from some poor Rennes defending to claim the win after Callum Hudson-Odoi had put the visitors in front in the first half.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted Manchester United are back on track after they avenged their humbling Champions League football defeat against Istanbul Basaksehir with a 4-1 rout of the Turkish side on Tuesday night.

Solskjaer’s team crashed to a shock 2-1 loss at the hands of the Group H outsiders in Istanbul earlier in November.

But there was never any chance of another upset as United ran Basaksehir ragged at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes was the catalyst with a stunning long-range opener early in the first half.

He doubled the lead before passing up a hat-trick chance when he allowed Marcus Rashford to convert the penalty that brought United’s third goal before half-time. — AFP.

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