Champions League

Olympiakos 0-3 Arsenal

By Marc HigginsonBBC Sport
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud now has seven goals in his past eight Arsenal games

Olivier Giroud scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal to ensure the Gunners qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League by beating Olympiakos.

Needing to win by two clear goals, the Gunners produced a performance of nerve and nous to finish second in Group F.

Giroud headed the opener in the first half, then stroked home the second after good work by Joel Campbell.

The French striker put Arsenal's qualification beyond doubt with his third from the penalty spot.

Listen to 5 live commentary on the goals

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Arsenal's proud record remains intact


Arsenal have never failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League since the start of the new format in 2003-04, and their experience on the biggest stage shone through on a memorable night in Athens.

They weathered the early enthusiasm from the physical home side, who were backed by typically partisan support, and slowly seized the initiative with a composed performance.

Mathieu Flamini had already hit the bar before Giroud opened the scoring with a near-post header from Aaron Ramsey's cross, which went in off the goalkeeper Roberto.

The second was the best goal of the night as Giroud won a flick-on on the halfway line and timed his run into the box to perfection before stroking home.

The third was slightly more fortuitous as Omar Elabdellaoui was penalised for handling Nacho Monreal's shot and Giroud stepped up to convert with ease.

Olivier Giroud (12) was struggling with a sore ankle - which he later appeared to recover from - when he won a header just inside the Olympiakos half and then raced into the box to score Arsenal's decisive second goal
Olivier Giroud (12) was struggling with a sore ankle - which he later appeared to recover from - when he won a header just inside the Olympiakos half and then raced into the box to score Arsenal's decisive second goal

Man of the match - Olivier Giroud

It's got to be Olivier Giroud for the way he applied the finishing touches to an accomplished team performance.

However, special mention must go to Joel Campbell who held off three defenders before taking out another two with a cute pass for Giroud's second goal.

Time and again, Campbell showed strength to hold off his marker and vision to slide in Giroud to offer hope to Arsenal fans that they have the makings of a fine strike partnership.

Gunners fans will also be cheered to see Theo Walcott starting the game, and while the England forward clearly lacked match fitness he made some clever runs and looked dangerous both out wide and when he drifted inside.

Joel Campbell was applauded by both sets of fans when he was substituted on his return to Olympiakos
Joel Campbell (right) was applauded by both sets of fans when he was substituted on his return to Olympiakos, where he won the Greek league during a loan spell in 2013-14

What next?

Arsenal did well just to qualify after chastening defeats by both Dinamo Zagreb (2-1 away) and Olympiakos (3-2 at home) meant they had failed to register a single point in the group after two matches.

They went on to be defeated 5-1 by group winners Bayern Munich in Germany too, after winning 2-0 against Pep Guardiola's team at home.

Arsenal were in escape mode - Wenger

The fact they finished second to Bayern means they are likely to get a tougher last-16 draw than the German side.

Their potential opponents when the draw is made are Spain's Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, Wolfsburg from Germany or Russian side Zenit St Petersburg.

They will join fellow Premier League sides Chelsea and Manchester City in Monday's last-16 draw at 11:00 GMT.

The stats you need to know

  • Olivier Giroud is the fourth player to score a hat-trick for Arsenal in the Champions League (after Thierry Henry, Nicklas Bendtner and Danny Welbeck).
  • Arsene Wenger's side won their first game in Greece since December 1998 (3-1 vs Panathinaikos).
  • Giroud became the seventh Arsenal player to reach double figures for goals in the Champions League (Henry, van Persie, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Walcott and Pires the others).
  • The result ended the Greek side's unbeaten run of six home Champions League games against English sides (W5 D1).
  • Indeed, Arsenal had lost all three of their previous visits to face Olympiakos in the Champions League, all of which were on matchday six.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 16Jimenez Gago
  • 14ElabdellaouiBooked at 66mins
  • 6da Costa
  • 23Siovas
  • 26Masuaku
  • 11KasamiSubstituted forDominguezat 72'minutes
  • 5Milivojevic
  • 90PardoSubstituted forFinnbogasonat 86'minutes
  • 7FortounisBooked at 9mins
  • 92de Freita Couto JúniorSubstituted forSantos Fortesat 77'minutes
  • 99Ideye


  • 3Botia
  • 9Finnbogason
  • 10Dominguez
  • 30Salino
  • 37Kapino
  • 77Santos Fortes
  • 91Cambiasso


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 20Flamini
  • 16RamseyBooked at 18mins
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forGibbsat 72'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 28CampbellSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 90+1'minutes
  • 12GiroudBooked at 63minsSubstituted forChambersat 90+2'minutes


  • 2Debuchy
  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Chambers
  • 45Iwobi
Nicola Rizzoli

Match Stats

Home TeamOlympiakosAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Olympiakos 0, Arsenal 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Olympiakos 0, Arsenal 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Manuel da Costa.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Calum Chambers replaces Olivier Giroud.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Joel Campbell.

  7. Post update

    Joel Campbell (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Petr Cech.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

  11. Post update

    Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Manuel da Costa.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Olympiakos. Alfred Finnbogason replaces Felipe Pardo.

  14. Post update

    Hand ball by Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos).

  15. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini tries a through ball, but Mesut Özil is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Manuel da Costa.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  18. Post update

    Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Dangerous play by Dimitrios Siovas (Olympiakos).

  20. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 9th December 2015

As It Stood


1Real Madrid65101931616
3Shakhtar Donetsk6105714-73
4Malmö FF6105121-203


2PSV Eindhoven631287110
3Man Utd62227708
4CSKA Moscow611459-44


1Atl Madrid6411113813
4FC Astana6042511-64


1Man City6402128412
4B Mgladbach6123812-45


3B Leverkusen6132131216
4BATE Borisov6123512-75


1Bayern Munich65011931615
4Dinamo Zagreb6105314-113


2Dynamo Kyiv632184411
3FC Porto631298110
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv6006116-150


1Zenit St Petersburg6501136715
2KAA Gent631287110
View full Champions League tables

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