Arsene Wenger has lauded the performance of striker Olivier Giroud following an impressive 3-0 victory over West Ham United.
The Frenchman opened the scoring towards the end of the first period, producing a fine finish to complete a team move and set the Gunners on the road to victory. Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini scored the other goals.
It was Giroud who really impressed his manager with an all-round display, and he paid tribute to the mental strength that’s been shown throughout his career to-date - as well as technical ability to finish his chance on the day.
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"It was a fantastic goal because it's a consequence of a fantastic combination just before and after. On top of that the finishing was great," said Wenger post-match, according to ESPN.
"Giroud is a boy who has played at 22 or 23 in division three [in France]. He's come out and has become an international footballer.
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"You need some mental strength to do that because there's no red carpet there. You have to work hard to get out there and get to the top - you need some special strength.”
Victory at the Emirates Stadium concluded a great week for Arsenal, who progressed to the last four of the FA Cup after a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Champions League chance
That means confidence is high in the Gunners' camp going into their Champions League last 16 second leg against AS Monaco, with Wenger’s side needing to turn around a 3-1 deficit in France.
"We have come out of a good week because we have played at Manchester United [in the FA Cup], we have played the London derby today and we need the belief to prepare well for Monaco. Let's do that and after we will see,” he concluded.
"If you have no belief you have no chance. We have to believe that we can do it. This time Monaco are favourites so we have to go there and give absolutely everything.”
If Arsenal are to turn it around in the principality, then they will need Giroud to be firing on all cylinders against Leonardo Jardim’s side in midweek.
The Frenchman missed a number of chances in the first leg, and will be kicking himself that he didn’t do more to put the Gunners in a better position.
However, he’s now got six goals in his last seven matches, and deserves the praise from his manager. Now he can take it to the next level in the Champions League.
What do you think Arsenal fans - can Giroud fire the club in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with his impressive form?
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