Arsenal sealed their place in the Champions League group stages by dispatching Fenerbahce 2-0 (5-0 on aggregate) at Emirates Stadium. Fenerbahce looked poor in both legs and Arsenal made sure to take advantage of their poor play.
Arsenal scored their first goal in the 25th minute, thanks to Aaron Ramsey. Lukas Podolski fed the ball through to Walcott in the box, and Walcott was unable to get to the ball due to a tackle by Caner Erkin. Luckily, the ball fell favorably into the path of Ramsey, who made a run from midfield and he was able to slot the shot past Demirel.
Ramsey got his brace in the 72nd min., to give Arsenal their second and last goal of the match. Brilliant one touch play which began with Ramsey near the half-way line. Two Fenerbahce defenders, Bruno Alves and Gokhan occupied the left side of the pitch leaving Kieran Gibbs in space. Jack Wilshere provided the pass to Gibbs, who took the ball into the box. Gibbs cut the ball back to Ramsey, who finished it expertly with his right foot.
Arsenal had other chances to score, the most notable being Giroud’s miss in the 45th minute off a Monreal cross, and Walcott hitting the crossbar in the 68th minute off of a free kick. Miyaichi also provided a cross to Jenkinson in the 92nd minute, and Jenkinson was denied his first senior goal for Arsenal by Demirel.
Fenerbahce didn’t really threaten too much throughout the game and Arsenal enjoyed long spells of possession at times, but they did have moments where they did threaten. In the 13th minute, there was a scramble to clear the ball from the box. Jenkinson tried to dispossess Caner Erkin and the ball fell to Raul Meireles, who’s shot was blocked by Sagna and the ball fell into the hands of Szczesny. Fenerbahce also had another great opportunity in the 39th minute, where Emenike was able to spin away from Sagna into open space, he took a powerful shot from the left which was saved by Szczesny and hit off of the bar.
Man of the Match: Aaron Ramsey. What more can you say about his performances of late? Despite receiving a lot of criticism from supporters and the media, Wenger continued to start Ramsey in games and now Arsenal are reaping the benefits. He played an excellent game in midfield, protecting the back four, controlling the pace of the game, and making breathtaking runs from midfield to get into scoring positions.
With sealing a place in the Champions League group stages, Arsenal’s transfer window should start now. Various reports state that a lot of Arsenal’s transfer dealings will depend on Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid, thinking that Real Madrid would like to part with a few players to help fund the transfer. So far, Arsenal are being linked to Ozil, Benzema, and Di Maria. According to reports, Benzema’s agent already put to rest rumors of Benzema going to Arsenal and Di Maria seems set to stay at the Bernabeu due to Cristiano Ronaldo telling Real Madrid management that he wants Di Maria to stay.
Whichever rumors end up being true or not, Arsenal supporters must remember to not take what they hear in the media seriously. Wenger is a manager that likes to do his business silently and is not the type to tell the media his targets unless a legitimate bid has been made. Trust in Wenger, and expect to see two or three new quality signings before the transfer window closes.
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