Arsenal completed their stunning recovery in the Champions League after comfortably easing past Olympiacos in their final group game to book a place in the round of 16. Olivier Giroud proved to be the hero as the Frenchman scored his first Champions League hat-trick to steer the Gunners to a 3-0 win on a breezy night in Greece.
The North London club needed to win by a margin of 2 or win scoring 3 or more goals and considering the outcomes of previous travels to the same venue; it looked too big a mountain to climb. The game started in the same fashion as the Greek club started the game on a promising note and troubled Arsenal in the initial 25 minutes.
Bellerin was getting exposed on the right-hand side during the first 25 minutes with Walcott pressing forward, which lead to Wenger swapping the positions of Campbell and Walcott. That proved to be the game changer as the Gunners gained more foothold on the game and eventually found the equalizer with Giroud heading past the keeper from a Ramsey cross around the half hour mark.
The Emirates club continued to press and scored the scored the all-important second goal just 4 minutes from the restart as Giroud found the back of the net from close range after Campbell’s majestic ball handling inside the box found the Frenchman. The Gunners continued the pressure and the third goal eventually came 23 minutes from time as the French striker completed his hat-trick from the spot.
It was a complete performance as Arsenal were in control throughout and pressed at the right times. The road ahead won’t be easy but for the time being the result should give the Gunners a huge boost in their quest for some silverware this season.
Here are some of the reactions from fans on the Social media site Twitter.
Outstanding performance from The Arsenal. When do we start to think that Joel Campbell might be pretty good?
— Neil Fergus (@NeilFergus74) December 9, 2015
If there's a silver lining to all the injuries is that Campbell established himself as a reliable alternative up front for us #afc
— WestwoodGunner (@westwoodgunner) December 9, 2015
Many would have had the same kind of reactions as this.
— Stringer CampBELL (@RealJackRabbit) December 9, 2015
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 20, 2015
What a performance this is tonight. So many injuries but to have the quality and spirit to do this…Top notch. #AFC
— Dan 'Lanky' Tyreman (@DTLanky) December 9, 2015
— Poet's Mind (@emperormfon) December 9, 2015
Olivier Giroud joins Danny Welbeck, Nicklas Bendtner & Thierry Henry as the only Arsenal players to score a Champions League hat-trick. #afc
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 9, 2015
— K!M (@Nel_kimz) December 9, 2015
Magnificent performance tonight. Had to be strong early on but then showed our class. Every player was superb. Very well played #Arsenal.
— The Gooner (@GoonerFanzine) December 9, 2015
The great escape #arsenal
— Ruud Gullit (@GullitR) December 9, 2015
All but summed up, what a day Joel Campbell had!
— Kieran (@FootyAntics) December 9, 2015
What was your reaction after the win?