Olivier Giroud picked the perfect time to cement himself as an Arsenal hero.
Giroud, 29, fired the Gunners into the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League by scoring a hat trick against Olympiacos on Wednesday. The 3-0 win allowed the Gunners to leapfrog Olympiacos, which entered the group F finale needing just a draw or narrow loss to progress, into the knockout stage.
Giroud initially boosted Arsenal’s prospects in the 29th minute when he headed home Aaron Ramsey’s cross.
Joel Cambpell set the stage for Giroud’s second strike in the 49th minute, laying a pass into the Frenchman’s stride.
Arsenal effectively secured progression in the 67th minute. Giroud completed his hat trick with a goal from the penalty spot.
The hat trick was Giroud’s first as an Arsenal player. He joined the Gunners in 2012, and his goals against Olympiacos, the last three of his 71 for the club, moved him into some esteemed company.
Thumbnail photo via Petros Giannakouris/The Associated Press