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Walcott competition helped Giroud - Flamini

Olivier Giroud has taken his game to another level due to competition from Theo Walcott, according to Arsenal team-mate Mathieu Flamini.

Giroud starred as Arsenal beat Olympiacos 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday to advance from Group F.

The France international had found himself behind Walcott for a place up-front in Arsene Wenger's side earlier this season.

Flamini believes that was good for Giroud, who has lifted his game due to being pushed by Walcott.

"Competition is very important in the big teams – it makes players stronger and that is what happened," Flamini said.

"It is tough competition up front and Olivier is responding very well because he is playing better and better. That is part of the game and if you want to play at a big club you have that competition."

Giroud stepped up when Arsenal needed him most, with his hat-trick seeing them sneak through to the last 16 in the Champions League.

Flamini said the 29-year-old deserved all the plaudits he was receiving.

"All great strikers have to respond in the big games and he responded well. It was a great performance from him and he helped the team very much and is a top scorer," he said.

"He deserves the credit and I think he gets it.

"I have not seen it anywhere or from anyone that he is not a top goal-scorer and he is proving it on the pitch so is doing very well.

"I am glad and happy for him."