You’d never guess it, but Olivier Giroud is now averaging a goal every 104 minutes in the Champions League and Premier League this season.
It’s a record any striker would be proud of, and one bettered by incredibly few around Europe and it all comes from a man often criticised by his own fanbase and plenty of the media.
Well, he delivered on a big evening. Requiring at least two goals, Arsenal were looking for someone to step up and he did on the evening. Losing the first two games of the Champions League season to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos but managed to come back from a horrible situation to qualify against all odds.
Giroud himself was sent off in Zagreb on the opening matchday, but he redeemed himself with his first Arsenal hat-trick in Greece on Wednesday night.
After struggling to get involved in the opening 20 minutes of the game, a strong header from Giroud gave Arsenal a vital first goal. On a night when the Gunners needed to win, scoring first was always going to be crucial.
Immediately after the break, the striker was seen on the floor holding his ankle. It was a scare, but he picked himself off the ground to score the second goal of the game. The work of Mesut Özil and Joel Campbell was superb, but Giroud timed his run expertly and calmly passed the ball into the far corner.
Chipping the ball to Nacho Monreal at the far post, Giroud played a huge part in winning a penalty to seal the win. Monreal had an effort blocked by the hand of Olympiacos defender Omar Elabdellaoui. The man of the evening stepped up and managed to seal qualification, and his first Arsenal hat-trick.
With Alexis Sánchez injured and Theo Walcott struggling, the Gunners needed a big player to step up and score the goals. Olivier Giroud delivered.
Two goals against Bayern Munich and three against Olympiacos, after costing his side in Croatia the Frenchman has dragged Arsenal into the Champions League knockout stages.