Saturday, December 10, 2016

Giroud plays his best game with to qualify Arsenal for the Champions League Round of 16

December 9, 2015 by  
Filed under UEFA Champions League

Champions League day 6: Olympiacos 0-3 Arsenal

The message was clear before the game. If Arsenal has a chance to play the Champions League at the end of winter in February 2016, they must win in Greece by a two goal margin in front of a boiling sell out crowd. Giroud came as the hero scoring all Arsenal three goals and giving the ticket to the Round of 16 for the Gunners. This night in Athens will be remembered as one of the best European Arsenal nights.

Arsene Wenger comments on the win, Giroud and what comes next: 

on the win…
We had a perfect performance on the tactical and mental side too. Overall it was a real team performance.

on the last 16…
We’ll see. At the moment I haven’t even looked at who we could get. We were so nearly out that I put all my focus into staying in this competition. The kind of performance tonight, in a very heated atmosphere, showed that we have great character. These games make the team stronger and this one certainly will.

on the achievement of qualifying…
It is a fantastic achievement for us. When you look at who we’ve lost in the last three weeks, we’ve lost Coquelin, Cazorla and Alexis among other long-term injuries, not many people gave us a chance. We are a real team. In the dressing room this team is very close and you could see that again today.

on whether it is one of his best European wins…
Yes, certainly because we needed a perfect performance to score without conceding. That is not easy because they are a good side.

on whether Giroud has taken a penalty before…
He was on the list to be No 1. Number two was Walcott and No 3 was Ramsey, so we respected the order. It is maybe easier to take a penalty when you have already scored, but he took it well. He practised in training and it showed.

on belief…
It will make us stronger and strengthen the belief of the squad. It is a special night for us because, as we said before the game, we were in escape mode. We needed something special and when you deliver something special it can create positive memories for the rest of the season. Maybe it’s a lucky year for us in the Champions League, you never know.

on Giroud’s performance…
It was a perfect performance because he scored a header, one with a good combination thanks to a good pass by Campbell, and also a penalty on top of that. He was sometimes in uncomfortable positions but he fought like mad and he has shown skill and character. I always defended Olivier on the character side because he has always had something special on that front. He showed that in the game again today.

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