Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ramsey and Co Silence the Critics as Gunners Hit Back in Style

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ramsey and Co Silence the Critics as Gunners Hit Back in Style

Article excerpt

GALATASARAY 1 Arsenal ............................. 4 ARSENAL produced the perfect response to silence their critics with a 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray in Istanbul, where Aaron Ramsey scored one of the goals of the season.

Arsene Wenger had come in for abuse from the London club's own supporters in the aftermath of Saturday's disappointing 3-2 defeat at Stoke, which left them sixth in the Premier League.

However, there was no European hangover as despite leaving several key players such as Alexis Sanchez back in London, the Gunners, who had already qualified for the knockout stages, romped to a comfortable victory, but still had to settle for runners-up spot in Group D behind Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal had raced into the lead after just two minutes when Lukas Podolski crashed the ball into the top left corner.

Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta missed a great chance to equalise when he stabbed the ball wide from six yards.

Ramsey made it 2-0 on 11 minutes with a neat finish after a quick break from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Podolski lashed another fierce shot against the crossbar, before Ramsey netted a superb half-volley from all of 30 yards which was applauded by the home supporters.

The second half was a much-more subdued affair, with Arsenal looking to counter after soaking up plenty of pressure with Per Mertesacker blocking a goal-bound shot from Umut Bulut on 65 minutes before Wesley Sneijder clipped home a late 20-yard free-kick. Podolski grabbed a fourth on the break deep into stoppage time.

Arsenal will now regroup ahead of the knockout stages in mid-February, by which time Wenger could well have several of his injured stars fighting fit again to take on Europe's best.

Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy returned following three months out, while Wenger named a bench with an average age of just over 18, handing an opportunity to fringe players such as Podolksi, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell.

It took German forward Podolski some 122 seconds to prove his point, as he lashed an angled drive the ball past Sinan Bolat from just inside the penalty area. …

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