Speaking after Arsenal’s do-or-die game against Olympiacos, midfielder Aaron Ramsey praised the team’s performances, focusing in particular on hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud (via Arsenal.com). The Frenchman was unstoppable as he netted all three of Arsenal’s goals on the night, one of which was assisted by Ramsey himself. The Welshman was also a constant threat in and around the Olympiacos penalty area throughout the game and clearly benefited from being shifted into a more central role.
The players were naturally ecstatic after the final whistle, especially considering the remarkable comeback that we have made in the Champions League. After losing the opening two group games to Dinamo Zagreb away and Olympiacos at home, we rallied to beat German giants Bayern Munich and Dinamo at the Emirates, setting up for a final clash against the Greeks at Piraeus.
Ramsey spoke of the team’s reactions following the result, saying, “It was obviously a great result for us. We believed that we could come here and get a result, and we managed to do that.
“We never make it easy for ourselves and this is another example. It’s something that we’ve managed to do in the end and we’re just delighted that we’re in the hat. Hopefully now we can have a good draw and then who knows what can happen.”
Progressing in the Champions League is yet another positive for the current Arsenal side, who have looked like a highly mature outfit this season. The addition of Petr Cech to the defence and the performances of Mesut Ozil up front have pushed Arsenal into a higher gear than we’ve seen in a long time, and the positive results that we have secured despite the injuries bode well for the future.
Giroud has unquestionably been one of those positives for the Gunners; the Frenchman has long been accused of being inconsistent, but has answered his critics strongly this season, finding the net with regularity and delivering in the big games. Ramsey praised his teammate on Arsenal Player, saying, “He’s been in really good form this year and to get a hat-trick in the circumstances just shows how important he is for us. We’re delighted with his contribution and hopefully he can keep up this goalscoring form that he’s in.
“He links up the play really well, he’s a good target man who can flick balls on, bring balls down and bring other players into play. He can score goals as well so he has a bit of everything.”
Giroud’s form coupled with Theo Walcott’s development as a centre forward means that Arsenal have actual options when choosing the tactics for a game, something that we have lacked too often in recent years. Full marks to the manager as well, for using both players effectively when they are available for maximum impact. Hopefully, the team is able to round out this year with a few more good performances and climb to the top of the Premier League table as well.