Arsenal booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after a 2-0 win over giantkillers Middlesbrough.
The Championship outfit had beaten Manchester City in the previous round and they were spoken about beating yet another top team in the last 16 round. As it was, Arsenal managed a comfortable victory that puts them against Manchester United in the quarter-finals. The club have missed striker Oliver Giroud for much of the first half of the season. The Frenchman showed his importance to the team after scoring two goals in the space of two minutes to put Arsenal on the path to a 2-0 win.
Giroud opened the scoring in the 27th minute and later extended Arsenal’s advantage just two minutes after this goal. Wenger says that even though the club have several strikers like Danny Welbeck on-board, he feels that Giroud is the number one hit man. The former Montpelier striker was a revelation last season after scoring 16 goals in 36 appearances last season. This time around, his goal return has been even better with seven goals from just nine starts. His impact has been more profound in bigger matches like that of against Manchester City.
His return appears to have been a major factor in the club allowing Lukas Podolski to leave on a loan deal for Italian football. “We controlled the game from the first to the last minute. They had one chance at the end from a header, but overall I’m pleased with the way we attacked. I believe that he (Giroud) is a different player today than the guy who arrived here. He understands what top-level football demands, works with a great concentration in training and he has improved tremendously on his mobility,” Wenger said. Arsenal’s next match is against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this weekend.