Roma spoil Giroud's Milan farewell in Perth

football31 May 2024 15:10| © AFP
article image
Olivier Giroud © Getty Images

Veteran French striker Olivier Giroud bid farewell to AC Milan in subdued fashion as they slipped to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of AS Roma in an entertaining post-season friendly in Perth on Friday.

Just days after the Serie A season ended, Roma had the edge in a high-octane contest in front of 56 522 fans at the Optus Stadium.

All eyes were on 37-year-old Giroud as he leaves Europe, where he has played at the top level in France, England and Italy, to head next season to Los Angeles FC.

The 2018 World Cup winning striker is France's record goalscorer with 57 in 131 internationals and will have a chance to add to that tally at the Euros later this month, after which he will bow out of international football.

Giroud, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and the Serie A title with Milan in 2021-2022, signed off from league duty in Italy with a goal in a 3-3 draw with Salernitana on Saturday.

He almost replicated that effort in the 30th minute against Roma, only to hit the post.

But Giroud struggled to get involved and was constantly crowded out by Roma defenders aiming to deny him a farewell flourish, and he was substituted at halftime.

Roma midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi broke the deadlock in the 27th minute, firing past Marco Sportiello.

Giroud almost equalised straight away, but it was French left-back Theo Hernandez who tied things up with a fierce shot from outside the area in the 37th minute.

Roma reclaimed the lead just before halftime through England international Tammy Abraham, who has been linked with a return to the Premier League after being made available for transfer.

It was all-out attack in the second-half, with both teams having made a slew of changes.

Angelino made it 3-1 early in the half and although Swiss striker Noah Okafor, who replaced Giroud, pulled one back for Milan, Paulo Dybala and Sardar Azmoun rounded out the victory for Roma.

It was the only match of the tour with the teams set to fly out of Perth just hours after the game, having arrived on Wednesday morning.