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Giroud fires five-star Arsenal in Hammers rout

Published on Jan 24, 2013 6:18 AM
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his second and Arsenal's fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at The Emirates Stadium in London on Jan 23, 2013. -- PHOTO : AFP 

LONDON (AFP) - Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal silence their critics as the France striker's double inspired a much-needed 5-1 victory over West Ham on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger's side had been subjected to scathing criticism from fans and pundits after successive defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea seriously damaged their bid to finish in the Premier League's top four.

Wenger was reported to have held crisis talks with his players this week and the Gunners looked set to hit a new low when Jack Collison gave West Ham a shock first-half lead at the Emirates Stadium.

But Arsenal bounced back in emphatic fashion, equalising through Lukas Podolski and then taking the points after Giroud sparked an astonishing spree of four goals in 10 second-half minutes, with Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott on the scoresheet before Giroud completed the rout.

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