Gunners cruise in Turkey

21 October 2008 09:55
Arsenal put on a superb display in Turkey to secure a stunning 5-2 victory over Fenerbahce to put them in charge of Champions League Group G. The Gunners went into the game with defensive problems, with Bacary Sagna, Kolo Toure and William Gallas all absent. Alex Song and Mikael Silvestre were both handed starts. Early on Manuel Almunia came to his side's rescue as Ugur Boral collected a cross from the right and his close-range shot hit the Spanish keeper in the face. However, Arsenal then scored twice in just over a minute to take total control of the game. First, the home defence was split wide open by Cesc Fabregas' astute pass and Emmanuel Adebayor raced through to finish low past Volkan with a clinical right-foot effort. Then, Fabregas repeated the trick to send Theo Walcott scampering away and the England winger rounded Volkan before slotting the ball into the empty net. With just 19 minutes on the clock it was 2-1 as the Gunners fell asleep from a free-kick and when the ball was flashed across the face of goal, Mikael Silvestre turned it into his own net. However, two minutes later Arsenal were two goals ahead again as Abou Diaby collected a long ball forward, held off his marker and smashed a low, left-foot shot into the far corner of the net from the left side of the area. There was still time before the break for Dani Guiza to blast a shot inches wide of the upright, before the Spaniard's heavy touch allowed Almunia to prevent the home side from pulling another goal back. The Gunners took just four minutes of the second half to stretch their advantage to 4-1, as a free-kick was played into the area and it eventually dropped for Song to rifle home a right-foot volley from eight yards. The game then finally dropped in pace, with the home side seemingly having accepted their fate and unable to test Almunia with any serious intent. However, Guiza finally got a reward for his hard work as he just beat Almunia to a lofted ball forward and toe-poked it into the net to make the score 4-2. Fittingly it was the Gunners who would have the final say, as in the final of four minutes of added time substitute Aaron Ramsey smacked in a superb right-foot shot from 20 yards out to round off a superb team performance.

Source: ESA