Arsenal striker kisses Hillsborough armband in goal celebration

Olivier Giroud 3

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud paid his own personal tribute to the families of the 96 Liverpool supporters that lost their lives at Hillsborough.

On the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Arsenal hosted West Ham at the Emirates in a clash the Gunners won 3-1.

Lukas Podolski’s brace with a goal scored either side of Olivier Giroud’s second-half strike ensured the North Londoners took all three points.

The French striker stripped off his black armband, worn in memory of those that lost their lives and the families they left behind on April 15, 1989, and kissed the armband during his goal celebration.

Clubs and players around the world paid their respects - Liverpool’s rivals Everton and Manchester United as well as Arsenal all made public tributes to support Liverpool Football Club and their fans in their memorial on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old from Chambery, France has been under fire from critics in recent weeks for his lack of threat in front of goal but the Gunners frontman struck a shot sweetly from a long-pass across field from captain Thomas Vermaelen on the halfway line.

The victory sees the Gunners move back into the top four ahead of Everton who have a game in hand with Champions League football next season still hanging in the balance for Arsene Wenger’s side who won their first game in the last five in the Premier League.

Kim Kallstrom made his full starting debut for Arsenal on Tuesday night and played a full 90 minutes at the Emirates.

Santi Cazorla picked up the man of the match award due to his own creative talents, but Giroud will pick up his share of the plaudits too thanks to his second half showing, after and admittedly poor first.

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