Olivier Giroud Arsenal Walcott Ramsey Ozil Bellerin
Olivier Giroud celebrates with his teammates after scoring for Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League match against OlympiakosReuters

Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick to help Arsenal to the last 16 of the Champions League for the sixteenth time in a row.

Under pressure to come up with a better result than the 3-2 win that Olympiakos picked up at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season in the Champions League, Arsene Wenger's men did admirably well to come away from Greece with a 3-0 victory, all three goals coming from Giroud.

It was not the greatest of starts for the away side, as Olympiakos made a brighter beginning, looking dangerous down to Arsenal right on a couple of occasions. That forced Wenger to switch Joel Campbell over to the righto provide more cover to the defence with Theo Walcott not exactly doing his defensive duties too well.

Slowly, but surely Arsenal wrested control of the game and they went about shutting the hostile crowd on the half hour, with Giroud opening the scoring. Mesut Ozil found Aaron Ramsey on the Arsenal left with a lovely pass, before the Welshman picked out Giroud, who saw his strong header at the near post sneak past Roberto.

A 1-0 victory would not have been enough for Arsenal to go through to the knockout rounds, so a second unanswered goal was needed, which came four minutes into the second half, as Giroud fired home after latching onto a brilliant through ball from Campbell.

Once that goal went in, the shoulders of the Olympiakos players just seemed to sag, and the Frenchman completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, after Elabdellaoui was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area off a shot from Nacho Monreal.

This was the kind of performance that Wenger would have demanded from his team, but even the Arsenal manager would have been surprised at the ease with which his side picked up the necessary result to ensure they go into another last 16 draw, albeit in second place again.

Now, it will be fingers crossed again as they hope to avoid the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the next round of the UEFA Champions League.

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