Arsenal needed to beat Olympiacos in order to advance in the Champions League, and the Gunners did just that thanks to an Olivier Giroud hat trick.
Arsenal needed to win by either a 2-0 scoreline or get a win while scoring a minimum of three goals. The game at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens ended in a 3-0 win for the Gunners and Giroud became the big hero with one goal in the first half and two in the second.
Manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with going through to the knockout stages.
“It is a fantastic achievement for us,” Wenger told arsenal.com after the win. “When you look at who we’ve lost in the last three weeks, we’ve lost Coquelin, Cazorla and Alexis among other long-term injuries, not many people gave us a chance. We are a real team. In the dressing room this team is very close and you could see that again today.”
Wenger also had a lot of praise for Giroud, as the French striker had an excellent game.
“It was a perfect performance because he scored a header, one with a good combination thanks to a good pass by Campbell, and also a penalty on top of that,” Wenger said. “He was sometimes in uncomfortable positions but he fought like mad and he has shown skill and character. I always defended Olivier on the character side because he has always had something special on that front. He showed that in the game again today.”
Arsenal finished 2nd in Group F on nine points, six points behind group-winner Bayern Munich.