Serie A 2022/23: Player of the Week – Matchday 36

It's not always easy to choose a Player of the Week from a given week of football. On Serie A Matchday 36, though, Olivier Giroud made himself impossible to overlook with a hat-trick for AC Milan against Samp.

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An Olivier Giroud hat-trick helped AC Milan to a comprehensive 5-1 win over Sampdoria, to help them get over their disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of rivals Inter and won the Frenchman the Serie A Player of the Week award for Matchday 36 of the 2022/23 campaign. Naturally, Giroud also occupies a place in our Serie A Team of the Week as well.

Victory at the Stadio San Siro on Saturday was, at the time at least, key to keeping the Rossoneri in the fight for a top-four finish. Their hopes were aided 48 hours later when the 10-point deduction given to Juventus saw the Bianconeri drop to seventh place and lifted Milan into fourth.

Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao celebrate an AC Milan goal. (@acmilan)

Hat-trick hero Giroud

After Rafael Leao had given the Rossoneri the lead on nine minutes, the 36-year-old headed a Brahim Diaz cross in and moments later was sending a penalty powerfully past the helpless goalkeeper to give Milan a 3-1 half-time lead.

The ex-Arsenal striker then played a part in a wonderful passing move that was finished by Diaz with 30 minutes still to play and finally completed his hat-trick from close range to score his first league treble since appearing for the Premier League club against Aston Villa in May 2016.

AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud celebrates a hat-trick. (@acmilan)

Veterans going strong

Giroud wasn’t the only ageing frontman on the scoresheet at the San Siro, with 40-year-old Fabio Quagliarella initially equaliser for the visitors and scoring for an 18th Serie A season, and just the fifth player aged 40 or more to achieve the feat, after Alessandro Costacurta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Silvio Piola and Pietro Vierchowod.

However, with the veteran no longer posting the numbers of previous seasons and Sampdoria being relegated to Serie B, his time in the Italian top flight is ending, but the former Chelsea striker looks to have plenty of goals still to contribute. At 36 years and 232 days old, Giroud became the oldest player to reach 10 goals in Europe’s top five leagues.

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