Olivier Giroud scores late winner as Arsenal beat West Brom 1 - 0

Published 27/12/16 

Olivier Giroud heralded Arsenal’s strength as the Gunners claimed a much-needed victory over West Brom thanks to his late header.

Arsenal have made a habit of striking in the closing minutes this term and Giroud has been crucial in many of those turnarounds, scoring away to Manchester United and Sunderland to help claim points for the Gunners.

Giroud added to his collection of late goals in the 86th minute on Saturday, outmuscling West Brom’s defender Gareth McAuley before meeting Mesut Ozil’s cross with a superb looping header that Ben Foster could not deny for the game's only goal.

“I was a bit lucky because I was able to put it above him,” Giroud said of his winner. I thought it was a very good cross from Mesut and I just tried to finish off the job.

“I would like to say that we were very strong as a team, with a good, strong mentality and it was very important to win. We have shown a big mental strength once again.”

Giroud’s late goal ensured Arsenal remained within nine points of league leaders Chelsea, who secured a club record 12th straight win at home to Bournemouth.

The Gunners had slipped so far off their London rivals thanks to successive 2-1 defeats at Everton and Manchester City, a brace of results that led to renewed debate over Arsenal’s ability to stay the course in the title race.

“At home you have to win, even more after two disappointing results,” Giroud added. “It was a very important game for us and we really wanted, we really needed, the three points. 

“It’s job done today but it was very hard. We were playing against six at the back, three in midfield and then one up top, but we never gave up. It was a great feeling to score and a big relief too.”

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