Arsenal put all odds aside and stormed Greece where they qualified for the Champions League knockout stage after humbling Olympiacos 3-0 in Piraeus, on the night of Wednesday, December 9.
Arsene Wenger’s side was on the verge of being knocked out of the competition if they failed to score to clear goals against the Greek side.
But as they say, Wenger has never tasted Thursday night football and was not ready to go that way. So he instructed his boys to do all they could and indeed at the final whistle, they had turned around one of the impossibilities in football to reach the round of 16.
And all credits goes to striker Olivier Giroud who scored all the three goals spectacularly to help the gunners qualify.
Giroud is not quite popular with most Arsenal fans but such performances are likely to etch his name in the Arsenal records and indeed the minds of Arsenal fans.
It required 29 minutes of play for Arsenal to start the redemption.
Europe’s king of assist Mesut Ozil squared a perfect pass to full back Nacho Monreal who raced down the left flank and released an inch perfect cross. Giroud showed his skill by defying the angle he was in as he headed towards goal. It looked easy but was powerful to beat Olympiacos custodian.
Four minutes after the start of the second half, Arsenal had their feet in round 16 thanks to Giroud again. Former Olympiacos loanee Joe Campbell controlled the ball in the Olympiacos penalty area, danced between two defenders and squared for Giroud who finished coolly with the first touch.
And in the 64th minute, Giroud grabbed his third goal from the spot kick to help Arsenal win the tie on goal difference.
The gunners finished second in group F behind Bayern Munich to land in the knock-out stage of the competition.