I did not realise it at the time, but when the Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud used a nice bit of movement in the Swansea box to lose his marker and then rose to head the Gunners into the lead at the Liberty stadium on Saturday, it was goal number 2000 for Arsenal under the managerial reign of Arsene Wenger.
As we know, goals 2001 and 2002 soon followed but it was Giroud that hit the landmark number and it is something he is very proud of and will remember for a long time. It was also the latest step on his road to redemption after this season started poorly for the centre forward and saw him even getting jeered by his own fans in an international match for France.
Giroud told Arsenal Player, “It is cool. I will be proud to say it to my family and my friends. It is nice to score three goals and not concede one so it is another clean sheet.
“We are really pleased with the second half because the first one we had trouble. We were struggling with playing our game as it was too slow. We were not playing quick enough through the lines so that is what we succeeded to do in the second half so it is nice ahead of the game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
“As a striker it is always a pleasure to win, to score again and I will remember the good solidarity. We never give up, even when it is tough for us against a good team. We knew it was going to be difficult but we stayed focused and we are really pleased with the three points.”
The centre forward is already looking ahead to the Champions League game against the Bundesliga champions this week and I am sure that our tactics will be the same as in the home clash with them, namely to work really hard, keep our shape and hope to take what chances come our way at the other end.
Giroud will be leading the line and if he can keep up his recent form and get another goal against Munich, number 2003 in the Wenger era, it might well be enough to keep our Champions League football odyssey alive. And who really believed that was possible after we lost to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos?