Every now and then, football throws up a story makes you smile and then, it goes in a direction that you never actually saw coming and ends up being absolutely hilarious – and this one starts with the recent Serie A clash between Genoa and AC Milan.
The match descended into farce at the end and although the Rossoneri ultimately took the three points, all fans were talking about really was a double red carding for both goalkeepers, that ended up with 37 year old, 125 French international capped striker, Olivier Giroud, taking his place between the sticks and pulling off a fantastically brave double save.
Where the story turns, and then why it tickled me even more, is as the plaudits for Giroud continued to pour in, he was then named in Serie A’s Team of the Week and some cheeky journalist saw the humour in him receiving a higher rating than Manchester United’s Andre Onana.
Despite only spending a matter of minutes between the goal posts in the game, his performance was compared to that of Cameroonian Onana as he featured in the Red Devil’s comeback win at Old Trafford to Brentford on the same weekend. After letting in a pretty tame effort, United needed a late and last gasp brace from midfielder Scott McTominay to take all three points on the day.
The humour largely stems from the fact that Onano played 97 minutes in goal for United, completing two saves as they came ever so close to another, slightly embarrassing defeat. Giroud however, was Mike Maignan’s replacement for around about seven minutes and he still managed to match the save count.
In an effort to further prove the point, the original journalist leant on fans further as they had even started comparing touches between the two players. Giroud had eight, Onana had 33, yet his performance was scored at 4.4, with Giroud taking a far more impressive (albeit very average) 6.5.
There is no doubt that this comparison has been mainly run by United fans, as Onana has not had a great start to life at the club with a string of high profile errors and gaffes already, but you do not have to look far around the internet to see how it was picked up by AC supporters – even though they far more appreciated that in the modern game seeing a striker between the sticks was now a rare quality, even though it used to happen quiet regularly (with interesting results) in the not too far distant past.