Champione League: Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal
Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal: Ramsey wonderstrike inspires Gunners
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Aaron Ramsey helped Arsenal get back to winning ways in sublime fashion as they eased to a 4-1 Champions League win at Galatasaray.
Last Saturday's 3-2 defeat at the hands of Stoke City ramped up the pressure on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, but the London club responded in the right manner with a comfortable victory at the Turk Telecom Arena.
Wenger named a host of academy products on the bench and was able to give some of those youngsters a run out after Ramsey's first-half double put Tuesday's Group D encounter beyond any doubt.
Ramsey set up Lukas Podolski for Arsenal's opener in the second minute and then doubled their lead in the 11th minute with a cool finish.
The midfielder capped a display of superb quality with a remarkable second, his magnificent long-range strike in the 29th minute the highlight of a game that marked Gala's last in a disastrous European campaign.
Wesley Sneijder grabbed a consolation for the group's bottom side before Podolski netted his second, as Arsenal had to settle for second place by virtue of Borussia Dortmund's 1-1 draw with Anderlecht.
Arsenal looked determined to atone for last weekend's setback from the first whistle and Podolski quickly broke the deadlock in fine fashion by firing into Sinan Bolat's top-right corner with a fierce left-footed finish after being played through by Ramsey.
A frantic opening to the game continued, with Hakan Balta only shooting hopelessly wide with just Wojciech Szczesny to beat and the hosts were made to made to pay for their profligacy as a clinical Arsenal side took complete control thanks to Ramsey's strike.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cleverly slipped the Wales international through down the left and Ramsey showed great composure to steady himself and slot into the bottom-left corner, leaving Gala to fume about what they believed was a foul on Tarik Camdal in the build-up.
Again Oxlade-Chamberlain was heavily involved as the visitors pressed forward, the England man neatly flicked the ball on for Podolski, whose rasping shot from the edge of the area cannoned off the crossbar with Bolat well beaten.
Bolat then turned another Podolski effort round the post, however, he could do nothing to keep out Ramsey’s phenomenal second from the resulting corner.
Gala cleared Joel Campbell's delivery only as far as the 23-year-old, who met the ball first time from 30 yards and unleashed a thunderous left-footed half-volley that flew beyond the despairing dive of Bolat.
Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini were withdrawn after half-time for teenagers Gedion Zelalem and Ainsley Maitland-Niles and the contest lacked tempo in the second half as Arsenal took their foot off the gas.
The hosts dictated possession in the second half but rarely troubled the Arsenal goal, blocked efforts from Hamit Altintop and Umut Bulut in a 66th-minute goal-mouth scramble representing their best opportunity before Sneijder did grab a slight consolation by lashing home an 18-yard free-kick.
That effort was answered by Podolski in the second minute of injury time as he raced into the penalty area to slot home and finish off a neat move and the only regret for Wenger will be that performance will mean little in the grand scheme of things with earlier disappointing results against Dortmund and Anderlecht likely to see Arsenal face a tough draw in the last 16.
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