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Friday, 23 August 2013

Arsenal return to winning ways in Champions League

Arsenal put their worries aside as they put in a dominant and professional display to beat Turkish side Fenerbahce 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday night. It took until the second half for the deadlock to be broken as Kieran Gibbs fired home before Ramsey scored a long range effort and Giroud scored from the spot. It was a morale boosting performance after Saturday's events as Gibbs and Sagna were fit to play whilst Monreal returned to the bench. Santi Cazorla also returned to the starting line-up as he looked to get back to full match fitness. Our dominant display means that barring any miracle from Fenerbahce at the Emirates, the Gunners should be safely through thanks to 3 away goals. The fact that we've now all but qualified for the group stages means we should be able to kick on and encourage some better players to join us in the remaining days of the transfer window. Sakho pre-match and even Benzema and Di Maria post-match have been rumoured to be on our radar. There could also be a return to the club for Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer as well.
Aaron Ramsey capped off a bright game with a goal against Fenerbahce
The first chance of the match fell to Giroud as after Alves conceded position in the box the Frenchman drove a shot which was saved.

Giroud was to have the next chance as well as Rosicky crossed in but he could only flick his header wide of the far post.

Arsenal were creating all the early opportunities as Ramsey then went close with an effort that went wide from the edge of the area.

Giroud was to have another chance after being slipped in by Wilshere but this time he hit his effort high into the stands.

In a half that had been all Arsenal and little Fenerbahce, the score at the break was 0-0.

Five minutes after the restart Arsenal found themselves in front. Ramsey did brilliantly to find Walcott who then slid the ball across goal for Gibbs to tap the ball home.

On the hour mark Wilshere managed to find some space at the near post but his shot was turned away.

Minutes later it was 2-0. Aaron Ramsey drove forward and then fired a low effort into the back of the net. It was a shot that the goalkeeper probably should've kept out but it was a deserved goal on the night for the ever improving Welshman.

Moussa Sow was to then come close twice as he headed over from a free header and then hit a shot from distance onto the roof of the net.

After numerous attempts on goal during the match, Olivier Giroud finally got on the score sheet. Theo Walcott was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Giroud stepped up and sent Demirel the wrong way for his second in as many matches.

Szczesny would then have to make two saves at the death, the first off of Kuyt and the next from Emenike to keep his clean sheet intact.

The final score on a promising night for the Gunners finished Fenerbahce 0-3 Arsenal.

The teams lineups:

Fenerbahce: Demirel, Irtegun(45), Kadlec, Yobo, Bruno Alves, Topal, Emre, Meireles(82), Webo(63), Sow, Kuyt. 
Subs: Gunok, Korkmaz, Baroni, Alper Potuk(82), Erkin, Gonul(46), Emenike(63).

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny(33), Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott(87), Giroud(82).
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson(33), Monreal(87), Frimpong, Gnabry, Podolski(82), Sanogo. 

My man of the match: Aaron Ramsey.

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Attendance: 50,500

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