Olivier Giroud 'very important' to Arsenal despite bench role - Petr Cech

Petr Cech has hailed Olivier Giroud's underrated contribution to Arsenal after the French forward's late equaliser at Manchester United.

With Alexis Sanchez chosen to lead the line for Arsene Wenger's side, Giroud, 30, has been consigned to the bench this season, making all six Premier League appearances so far as a substitute.

The France international has still managed to have a significant impact, however. He scored twice to help Arsenal overcome a stubborn Sunderland side in late October before coming off the bench with the Gunners trailing at Old Trafford to head home an 89th-minute equaliser.

The former Montpellier forward's arrival had been preceded by Arsenal's travelling support at Old Trafford chanting Giroud's name, and after the match Cech told SFR Sport he too is a big fan of the France international.

"Sometimes, I think people don't realise Olivier's qualities, because he works for the team," the former Chelsea and Czech Republic international goalkeeper said.

"He's useful when he starts games, but he's also useful coming off the bench. He can make the difference.

"He's a very important player for us. He showed again today that even though he didn't start the game, he's ready."