Arsenal knew they would get their “massive” win in Greece if they could impose their brand of football on the game, Petr Cech has said the club sealed their last-16 place in the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday.
The Gunners went into the game knowing they needed to win by any scoreline apart from 1-0 or 2-1 to qualify for the knockout stages for a 16th consecutive year.
“Well, we could! We were searching for it and we knew if we played our game, if we have a great team performance and great individual performances then we will have a chance, and we did say exactly that,” Cech told reporters after the game when asked if anyone could have seen that result coming.”
“It is a massive win for us, the club, the supporters and for the future because it will give us confidence.”
Arsenal avoided the embarrassment of dropping into the second tier Europa League thanks to striker Olivier Giroud, who scored his first hat-trick for the club on Wednesday.
Giroud has scored 13 goals in 23 appearances for the club this season and Cech has singled out the Frenchman for praise.
“He scores goals when we need him. He is a real handful when we need to play. What you want from your striker is to score goals and he has been scoring goals which is fantastic,” Cech said.
Arsenal will hope to leapfrog surprise leaders Leicester City, who host champions Chelsea on Monday, in the Premier League when they travel to take on bottom side Aston Villa the previous day.