Lukas Podolski came to Arsenal’s rescue last night to fend off a potentially embarrassing defeat at the hands of West Ham United.
The German forward produced one of his best performances of the season to pop up with a brace, which turned out to be vital over the course of 90 minutes as the Gunners climbed back into the top four.
His three shots on target from three attempts combined with a passing accuracy of 90% throughout the game was superb and helped him to keep the pressure up on the Hammers.
The match couldn’t have started any worse for the home side after nervous murmurs greeted the player warm up and the referee’s first whistle.
Matt Jarvis popped up with a header to take advantage of some slack defending inside Arsenal’s penalty area, nodding the ball beyond Wojciech Szczesny who was brought back into the team by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal’s focus ahead of the end of the season will now be ending the campaign with a trophy in the form of the FA Cup and qualifying yet again for the Champions League.
Wenger has never failed to qualify for the European competition while he’s been in charge of the club and the three points last night puts the pressure back onto Everton, who recently defeated Arsenal at Goodison Park.
Podolski’s performance last night was significant for a number of reasons and not least because it’s evidence he could be turning a corner over the last few games following a disappointing campaign.
He remains a good centre forward option for Arsenal and scoring goals, finding his accuracy and being in form means he can slot into a central role should Wenger want to use him there before the summer when he’ll be able to sign attacking reinforcements.
Here’s what Arsenal fans made of Podolski’s performance via social media site Twitter.
Ramsey is getting better, Flamini is off the hook, Ozil us coming back, Kallstrom impressing, Giroud and Podolski coming out strongly— Kennedy Gaya (@KennedyGaya) April 16, 2014
I hope that now Arsène sees that Podolski is good enough to play 90 minutes. He's an amazing finisher.— AFC AFC (@Ali_Jo0n) April 16, 2014
Big win against West Ham last night! What a performance from the team. Podolski lethal like always, Giroud with classic first touch. COYG!— Akem Aiman (@AkemAiman) April 16, 2014
On the train home; Arteta and Podolski take a bow, brilliant performance (after we conceded lols)— Passernal (@Arsenal1886x) April 15, 2014
Podolski with another "don't sell me in the summer" performance, top man— Josh Payne (@Joshh_Paynee) April 15, 2014
Gutsy performance that. That pesky Podolski...pops up with 2 brilliant finishes....*oh but his defending is poor. Kallstrom very good.— Greg (@gregfranksimmo) April 15, 2014
Podolski did the talking before the match and backed it up on the pitch tonight. Needs to consistently produce this type of performance.— Uncle David not Dave (@DavidAttaka) April 15, 2014
Podolski's performance really does make you wonder whether Wenger should've at least considered playing 4-4-2 in some games this season...— Massimo Marioni (@MassMarioni) April 15, 2014
On the whole, a good performance, particularly second half. Podolski proving he's the best finisher in this team.— Arslan (@Arslan_AFC) April 15, 2014
What is the difference between Podolski's performance today and his performance against Wigan? A goal. #Truth— March 9th (@LeutrimRexhaj) April 15, 2014
What did you make of Podolski's performance last night?