Olivier Giroud was the hero of the night, scoring a superb hat-trick as Arsenal secured their place in the Champions League knockout rounds with a 3-0 victory over Olympiakos in Piraeus.
Just when it looked as if the France international would need to be substituted with an ankle injury, he popped up to score the Gunners’ all-important second goal following a fantastic assist from Joel Campbell.
Giroud also scored Arsenal’s first goal, midway through the first half, with a near-post header which beat Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto Jiménez. His third, meanwhile, came from the penalty spot. (Scroll down this page to watch all three of Giroud’s goals).
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Giroud has divided opinion since completing his £12 million move from Montpellier in the summer of 2012, but this performance will go down as one of his most impressive.
Arsenal needed to win tonight to stand any chance of progressing to the Round of 16 - and Giroud stepped up when it mattered most.
Video: Giroud's hat-trick
Arsenal fans react on Twitter
Here’s how Arsenal fans reacted on Twitter...
Oh - and here's Piers Morgan...
Such an important hat-trick from Giroud
It was the perfect time for Giroud to score his first ever hat-trick for Arsenal, and it may surprise the Gunners’ faithful to learn the Frenchman now has more Champions League goals for the north London outfit to his name than club legend Dennis Bergkamp.
Giroud becomes only the fourth Arsenal player to score a Champions League hat-trick, and the first player from the Gunners to bag a treble away from home since Thierry Henry did it against AS Roma back in November 2002.
Arsenal fans: is Olivier Giroud underrated? Have your say by leaving a comment below!
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