Olivier Giroud praised Arsenal’s battling qualities after a stirring 2-0 win over Bayern Munich got their ailing Champions League campaign back on track.
Back-to-back defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos left Arsenal’s hopes of qualification from Group F hanging by a thread as they welcomed the runaway Bundesliga leaders to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
After an even first-half in terms of chances, Arsene Wenger’s team were indebted to goalkeeper Petr Cech before an uncharacteristic error from his opposite number Manuel Neuer allowed substitute Giroud to open the scoring in the 77th minute.
Mesut Ozil crowned the win with a breakaway goal deep into stoppage time, leaving Giroud to pay particular tribute to the defensive exertions of his team-mates.
“This goal relieved us,” he told BT Sport, referring to his opportunistic opener.
“We did well until the goal and defended really well. Bayern will have the ball, they are very good in possession and they finish [the match] with 70 per cent of the ball.
“They dominated the game but we knew that [they would] and we were able to finish it off. We needed this win to stay in the Champions League and try to qualify for the next stage.
“We have to thank Petr Cech too – he had a fantastic game.”
The France international striker added: “We all are pleased because we played against a fantastic team.
“That is nice for the future but we need to focus on the following games and keep the confidence high.”