Arsène Wenger has praised Olivier Giroud after the striker scored his 50th Arsenal goal.

The striker doubled the Gunners’ lead at Crystal Palace just before half-time on Saturday afternoon, reacting quickly to stab home from close range after Danny Welbeck’s shot was parried.

The boss believes Giroud has improved a lot during his two-and-a-half years at the club but says the striker can raise his game even further.

You need to earn your points in the Premier League and I think we did it in a convincing way, even if at the end it was a bit dodgy

“He had an important part in a game as direct as that, to keep the ball, to close them down,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “Overall he had a great contribution. I’m happy for him.

“[Between] when I brought him here, and [when] you look at him today, I think there’s a hell of a difference.

“That’s credit to him - to the player he was and the player he is today, plus credit for his whole season, where he has worked very hard. I think there’s still room for improvement for him.”

The manager was also pleased with the combination of talent and commitment his team displayed at Selhurst Park.

“Yes, it was hard-earned,” he said. “You need to earn your points in the Premier League and I think we did it in a convincing way, even if at the end it was a bit dodgy.

“We did fight and play, and today fighting without playing wouldn’t have been enough, and playing without really fighting wouldn’t have been enough either. They put in what was needed.”

Olivier Giroud scores his 50th Arsenal goal
Olivier Giroud scores his 50th Arsenal goal

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Nik Brumsack 22 Feb 2015