Football: Wenger gives thumbs up to Giroud's performance after Champs League letdown

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrating with Francis Coquelin after scoring the first goal for his side in their English Premier League football match against Everton at the Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrating with Francis Coquelin after scoring the first goal for his side in their English Premier League football match against Everton at the Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Arsene Wenger praised Olivier Giroud's mental strength and insisted he was never tempted to rest the striker after his misfiring display against Monaco.

Giroud had been replaced after missing a number of chances during the 3-1 Champions League defeat.

But Wenger kept faith in the forward as his side bounced back in the Premier League with Giroud scoring the first goal in a 2-0 victory over Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

The manager said: "Olivier has one great quality when he has his back to the wall.

"He has the personality and the strength to respond.

"He is an important player in the box with his presence up front. Even defensively.

"He played only an hour the other night so those ingredients were important in my decision to select him."

Giroud put Arsenal ahead in the 31st minute and Tomas Rosicky wrapped up the victory that keeps Arsenal third with a deflected 89th-minute effort.

Wenger added: "Our defensive concentration was at a much higher level than on Wednesday night. We know with the ball we can do better but, overall, what was important for us was to respond with a win and we got that."