Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny put in an utterly dominant display as his side sealed qualification to the Champions League knockout stages with a 3-0 win at Olympiakos.
The Gunners knew they were up against it as the headed to Greece, with multiple injuries and the task of either winning by two clear goals, or a one-goal victory but with at least three goals scored.
As it happened, they notched three on the night, as Olivier Giroud bagged an impressive hat-trick.
The France international will rightfully earn all the plaudits for his three goals, yet every single one of Arsenal’s players performed admirably, with Koscielny an absolute rock at the back.
|Effective Clearances||Interceptions||Def Duels Won||Aerial Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Lorient defender contributed in a number of key defensive areas as he dominated striker Ideye Brown from start to finish.
Koscielny posted three interceptions, five aerial duels won, seven ball recoveries, seven effective clearances and eight defensive duels won over the course of the 90 minutes.
The 29-year-old has been one of the Gunners’ best players over the past 18 months and his inclusion in the starting XI evidently boosts the defensive understanding in the team.
Olympiakos offered plenty of threat and they were buoyed by a ferocious home crowd, yet defensively the North Londoners held firm and they were the backbone to a memorable victory.
Aside from his defensive capabilities, Koscielny was also impressive in possession as he posted 39 accurate passes and a team-high pass success rate of 95%.