After a disappointing opening Champions League group stage fixture against Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal bounced back to hammer Turkish side Galatasaray 4-1 yesterday evening.
The Gunners went into the game without the injured Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, so in stepped Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who provided Arsenal's cutting edge spark which helped them to go on and slaughter the Turks.
Right from the off it looked inevitable that they would take all three points, with some accurate, crisp passing along with plenty of sharp shooting, a key contrast from Saturday's north London derby against rivals Tottenham. It was in form summer signing Danny Welbeck who got the scoring underway, latching onto a smooth Alexis Sanchez through-ball to poke through the legs of Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera.
Going forward was a rare occasion for Galatasaray, after all, they only managed a mere shot on target throughout the entire first half.
And it wasn't long before Arsenal punished Cesare Prandelli's side as Welbeck doubled their lead with a sweet finish into the bottom corner, once again racing onto another fine through ball, all of which angered the travelling fans who began to launch lighted flares onto the pitch for which the game was momentarily paused.
The night was about to become even worse for the Turks when Sanchez curled home inside the penalty area just before the half time interval. Overall, a poor half from Galatasaray, but take nothing away from Arsenal and their creditable performance, much better than that in Dortmund just two weeks ago.
Once the action resumed, so did Arsenal's dominance, along with Welbeck's desire to find a hat-trick. The Gunners began to press dangerously, forcing a fourth goal for none other than Welbeck. That third goal for the England international meant that he is the sixth English player to have secured the match ball by way of scoring three in a European outing.
He now joins Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney in the record books to name a couple.
But Arsenal's glamorous night was about to be dampened when Wojciech Szczesny could only prevent Burak Yilmaz from scoring by bringing him down in the area, leading to the Pole being shown red. David Ospina came on to make his Champions League debut for Arsenal, but the Colombian could not get his dream start as Yilmaz netted a consolation from the penalty spot.
Despite hardcore late pressure from Galatasaray, none of their fearful shots found the back of the net courtesy of some excellent saves from the substitute Arsenal keeper. The Gunners will next travel to Belgium to face Anderlecht who are still in search for the first win of the group stages.
Galatasaray will host group leaders Borussia Dortmund on October 22 in attempt to halt their unbeaten run.
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