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Giroud's goal was art: Arsene Wenger

Press Association logoPress Association 1/01/2017 Declan Warrington

Arsene Wenger praised Olivier Giroud's finish as "art" after the striker scored what could prove the goal of the season in Arsenal's 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace.

Meeting Alexis Sanchez's cross with a masterful scorpion kick that gave Arsenal the lead, Giroud's 17th-minute strike was of the calibre rarely achieved by predecessors Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie, and reminded Wenger of those who came before him.

Alex Iwobi's second-half header secured three points to ensure Arsenal remain third in the English Premier League and struggling Palace 17th.

Ahead of Tuesday's fixture with Bournemouth and the second half of the season there was also little question the north London side are rediscovering their momentum and belief.

"He transformed that goal into art," said Wenger, 67.

"Art, because of the surprise, because of the beauty of the movement; the efficiency of the movement.

"That will be remembered as the Giroud goal that nobody will forget. Every striker is remembered for one or two or three special goals, and that will certainly remain with him forever.

"I've been spoilt in my career because I've had many great players and many great strikers, and that is certainly in the top five (goals from an Arsenal player)."

Asked of the others in his top five, Wenger responded: "I remember Bergkamp, Henry, with special goals. Bergkamp at Leicester, Newcastle; Henry at Real Madrid, against Liverpool. (Nwankwo) Kanu at Chelsea...

"It's difficult in a second to get the best five."

Defeat leaves new Palace manager Sam Allardyce with one point from his opening two games, and makes Tuesday's home fixture with fellow strugglers Swansea increasingly important.

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