What a time for Olivier Giroud to score his first ever Arsenal hat-trick and it was well deserved for the brilliant French striker. It capped a great game fotr him but this fantastic result was a real team effort from front to back. A perfect Champions League performance in the tightest of corners sees the Gunners into the next round and Wenger’s long standing record saved.
Arsenal knew they needed goals and so of course we wanted a fast start but it did not really happen. In fact it was the home team that had the best of the opening exchanges and that encouraged them to press for a goal. Despite not really getting our fluent passing game going though, Arsenal were committed.
With some hard work and cool heads Arsenal managed to ride out the first 15 or 20 minutes with no real damage apart from a Ramsey yellow card. If his tackle was woth one then two of the Greeks should have been booked as well. But the tide was turning and Flamini was so close to scoring after 25 minutes, his shot deflected on to the bar after great work from Giroud and Campbell.
It was not long before Giroud was on the end though, and he powered a header into the bottom corner that the keeper got a hand to but could not stop. THe move was started with some typical brilliance from Ozil who set Ramsey fee on the left for the Welshman to cross.
Olympiacos rallied and had some good moments before the break, while Theo Walcott produced a great run at their defence but put his shot wide. We were in position though and there were nerves in the home team and crowd. Perhaps the key moment came just after the restart as it looked like Giroud would have to go off with a turned ankle.
He didn’t and then went on to make himself a hero. He was involved in the build up and then showed great desire and a fine finish to put us in position to go through with a 2-0 scoreline in the 49th minute. The Greeks had to come forward but we were in no mood to let them off the hook.
Giroud sealed the points and progression from the spot after 66 minutes. Olympiacos then needed three goals and they never looked like doing it. So the Gunners have made the miracle happen, but how far can we go now?