Arsenal's Champions League fate was out of their hands when they travelled to Turkey for their final group game against Galatasaray. A win would give them a small chance of winning the group but it was always unlikely.
More importantly, a win would help to erase the memories of what turned out to be a horror show for Arsenal fans against Stoke City. Arsene Wenger would need to remind fans that he was still capable of beating Europe's top tier clubs away from home.
Luckily, Lukas Podolski, in what was his first start since the Capital One Cup game against Southampton, scored in the first three minutes, opening up the game and setting Arsenal on their way on what would eventually be an impressive victory.
Galatasaray, already rooted to the bottom of Group D, saw no reason to defend and chased the game immediately. Arsenal took advantage on the break with Aaron Ramsey finishing calmly into the corner to make it 2-0 in the 11th minute.
The Welshman has endured a run of poor form for Arsenal and was starting to look more like the frustrating figure he cut out before the start of last season. However, he showed why Arsenal handed him a £100,000-a-week deal in the 29th minute with what may turn out to be goal of the season in the Champions League.
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Bouncing clear from a corner, Ramsey hit the ball on a half volley from all of 30 yards out, finding the top corner. With little a stake, Ramsey was taken off for Gedion Zelalem.
Second half revival
The second half saw Galatasaray come back into the game. The hosts wasted a number of chances before Wesley Sneijder got the consolation their second half performance deserved in the 88th minute.
Arsenal's dominance told just minutes later as Podolski grabbed his second of the night to send a message to Wenger. The German had been linked with an exit from the club in the January transfer window, but this brace will certainly give the Arsenal manager something to think about.
Szczesny - 7
Debuchy - 6
Mertesacker - 6
Chambers - 6
Bellerin - 7
Flamini - 5
Ramsey - 9
Sanogo - 6
Podolski - 8
Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7
Campbell - 5
Maitlan-Niles - 6
Zelalem - 6
O'Connor - 6
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