Arsenal and Chelsea renewed their rivalry last night ahead of next season following a reported intentional elbow from Olivier Giroud on Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel.
France’s last-16 World Cup clash against Nigeria certainly wasn’t for the fainthearted, as full-blooded tackles and at times overly rough play threatened to spoil what was a thoroughly enjoyable game.
Nigerian international Ogenyi Onazi had to leave the field on a stretcher with a reported broken ankle, but before that Chelsea midfielder Mikel was left reeling after a stray elbow from the Gunners striker Olivier Giroud went unpunished.
“Yes I got an elbow and the referee saw it and he only gave him a warning, not even a yellow card, nothing. It was bad.” Mikel said, quoted by The Mirror.
“We know the game, if you see it, act on it. The ref saw it. He did catch me, I don’t know if it was too hard but the intention was definitely there."
“I don’t think Giroud is a dirty player, I have played against him several times before and everyone wants to win for his country. He hasn’t done those sort of things before so maybe it was just one of those things in the heat of the moment.”
The key moment in the match happened during the first-half with the scoreline 0-0, and came about after the Premier League duo challenged a routine throw-in.
Giroud’s decision was perhaps born out of frustration at his lack of involvement in the game, and his disappointing match was over just after the hour mark when he was replaced by Antoine Griezmann.
Jon Obi Mikel, on the other hand, wasn’t the only player representing The Blues last night, as the lively yet at times wasteful Victor Moses and highly-rated centre-back Kenneth Omeruo are also key cogs of this Super Eagles team.
Unfortunately for the trio, however, despite a spirited performance a late French onslaught proved to be too much and two late goals saw the Europeans claim a 2-0 victory and set up a quarter-final date with Germany.