Arsenal’s Champions League defeat at home to Monaco was undoubtedly the darkest day of their campaign.
The Gunners’ 3-1 reverse at the hands of their Ligue 1 counterparts has left them with an enormous hurdle to surmount if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the competition, the odds gurus at bwin.com going 5/1 about Arsene Wenger’s men overturning the deficit to qualify.
If the north Londoners are to upset the odds they’ll need on-song French forward Olivier Giroud to uphold the stellar form he has been in since his side’s first-leg loss.
Few Arsenal players will have been especially proud of that particular stint at the grindstone, but their line-leader-in-chief was poorer than most.
An ineffectual showing from the heartthrob hitman against Les Rouges et Blancs was capped off when he blocked a goal-bound Danny Welbeck attempt before being substituted after an hour.
However, this dismal display appears to have proved the catalyst behind a surge in the Frenchman’s domestic form.
The aftermath of the Monaco mauling has seen the former Montepellier ace score in each of the three starts he has made as he encroaches on stagnating Chilean Alexis Sanchez at the summit of the Arsenal scoring charts.
Giroud is now just two league goals behind the man who kept the Gunners going while their line-leader was absent with a broken leg thanks to the strikes he registered against Everton, QPR and West Ham.
This trio of net rustles were supplemented with an assist registered in the 3-0 toppling of the Hammers last time out.
In furnishing Aaron Ramsey with the ammunition to make it 2-0, the 28-year-old moved on to three top-tier set ups this term, though his goals created tally could’ve been augmented further were it not for the wayward finishing of his colleagues.
Across his 18 league appearances, Giroud has made 22 key passes in total.
Eight of these came in his previous three matches, accounting for over a third of his contribution.
Similarly, his part in the Monaco setback has seemingly sparked an increase in the French’s international’s aggression too.
Of the 70 aerial duels he has won this term, 15 came across the triptych in question.
A price of 8/5 says Giroud’s white-hot form brings about a goal in Arsenal’s Stade Louis II salvation operation.