Starting off the new year with an in-depth analysis of 2017’s first great goal
Olivier Giroud, a man who too often has trouble scoring while facing an open net, managed to pull off a breathtaking sideways scorpion-kick goal in Arsenal’s New Year’s Day win over Crystal Palace. It was the type of goal that can be difficult to process. Just watch and let it turn your motor functions to mush.
Thankfully, I have a PhD in Goal Theory, so I am qualified to explain just how this remarkable goal came to be.
The foundation of this goal began the night before. New Year’s Eve. Olivier Giroud and the ball just happened to find themselves at the same party. They spotted each other from across the room. They exchanged timid glances and just before midnight, Giroud worked up the courage to approach the ball.
They discussed how funny it was that they were both there, given that they would be working together the next day. The conversation flowed easy. As the countdown to the new year began, Giroud admitted that he was developing feelings for the ball.
“I don’t have relationships with players,” the ball told him. “I’ve been kicked aside too many times.”
“I’m not like the others,” Giroud insisted, caressing the ball’s high-visibility exterior. “I’ll love you like Theo Walcott loves his coffee machine.”
As the clock struck midnight, the two kissed passionately. Everyone around them disappeared in that moment and the fireworks above were no match for those in their hearts.
In the small hours of the morning, Giroud and the ball went home together, where they explored every smooth, rounded panel of each other’s bodies.
When Giroud was jolted awake by his alarm, the ball was gone and he wondered if their affair was just a fleeting moment of loneliness and desire.
He prepared for the match as he usually does—winking at himself in the mirror and bathing in cocoa butter. When he arrived at the Emirates and stepped onto the pitch for warm-ups, he tried to ignore the ball as it feigned interest in other people. The match began and this silly game continued. But in the 17th minute, they could no longer resist their animal attraction.
Alexis Sanchez sent in a cross that put the ball behind Giroud, who flung out his leg in a desperate attempt to make contact with his complicated lover. As he did so, he whispered “Please, my love, go in the net…and wait for me there.”
Just before the ball propelled off the outside of his boot, it replied: “Anything, Giroud…”
With all the strength it could muster, the ball spun itself down off the crossbar and into the soft embrace of the net, leaving all its witnesses gasping in astonishment.
After the match, Giroud tracked down the ball to profess his love and eternal devotion. He said they could retire and live out their days on a deserted island together. Maybe even have children, if such a thing proves to be possible.
“You know this will never last, Olivier,” it told him. “But I will always remember our time together. And this goal will live on as a testament to what true love can achieve.”
With that, the match official took the ball away, leaving a tearful Giroud to be consoled by Gunnersaurus in the tunnel of bittersweet emotion.