Pundit: This Arsenal player has been amazing over Christmas

Garth Crooks singles out Olivier Giroud for special praise after some influential Arsenal performances

Garth Crooks has hailed the form of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud over the festive schedule.

Arsene Wenger started Giroud in the Premier League for the first time this season on Boxing Day and the France striker scored an 88th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium.

The 30-year-old retained his place for the visit of Crystal Palace in north London on New Year’s Day and Giroud scored one of the best goals of the Premier League era with a scorpion kick to break the deadlock in their 2-0 win.

Giroud, unsurprisingly, remained in Wenger’s starting line-up for their trip to Bournemouth on Tuesday night and the Arsenal centre-forward proved to be the inspiration behind their comeback after trailing 3-0 early in the second half.

The Frenchman teed up Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez for their goals before he netted an added-time winner at the Vitality Stadium to take his tally to six goals in the 2016-17 season so far.

Writing in his BBC Sport column, Crooks said:

“This lad has had an amazing Christmas period.

“He stole a result out of West Brom, scored arguably the goal of the season against Crystal Palace and pulled Arsenal out of the fire against Bournemouth.

“Giroud has had to play second fiddle to Sanchez up front but appears to have done so without rancour. When he has been asked to perform he has done so brilliantly.

“This was another magnificent display of commitment and desire from two very different sides.”

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