By Toby Davis
Olivier Giroud grabbed a superb hat-trick as Arsenal crushed Olympiakos Piraeus 3-0 to book their spot in the Champions League’s last 16 with a classy demolition job that ended the hopes of their Greek opponents on Wednesday night.
With Arsenal needing an emphatic victory to make it out of Group F, France forward Giroud produced a high-calibre display of finishing to ensure the English club finished second, level on nine points with Olympiakos, but ahead by virtue of their better head-to-head record.
Giroud opened the scoring with a powerful header in the first half, doubled Arsenal’s advantage with a calm left-footed finish quickly after the restart and rounded off a superb individual display with a penalty.
The victory completed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Arsenal who lost three of their first four games of the campaign and needed to win by any result other than 1-0 or 2-1 in their decisive group clash to finish second behind group winners Bayern Munich.
Wednesday’s Champions League results:
Dinamo Zagreb 0
Bayern Munich 2
Dinamo Kiev 1
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0
Bayer Leverkusen 1