Arsenal 2 - 0 Fenerbahce
Just days before the 2013 Summer Transfer window slammed shut, Arsenal were extremely eager to seal their Champions League qualification against Fenerbahce, in hope that their lingering transfer deals would run more smoothly thereafter. The Turks however, were looking to cause an upset, despite being three goals down. [quote_right]”The Gunners started the first half like a team who were indeed three goals to the good…”[/quote_right]
The Gunners started the first half like a team who were indeed three goals to the good. The players were relaxed,yet composed on the ball, and were looking to simply see out their qualification.
Santi Cazorla was once again weaving his way through tackles, spreading the play out to Podolski, Giroud and Walcott ahead of him in a classy manner.
Fenerbahce were looking as toothless as they were in Istanbul, and so it was no surprise when Arsenal took the lead in the twenty-fifth minute. Some good play from Podolski helped Walcott get on to the ball in the danger area, although he was swiftly tackled. Thankfully, the ball only rolled to the feet of Aaron Ramsey, who tucked his shot away with ease.
The remainder of the half wasn’t exactly a spectacle, despite some nervy threats from the Turks. Szczesney was forced into a few excellent saves. The Pole did well each time to help Arsenal maintain their lead as the cruised to the half time whistle.
The second half was almost an exact replica of the first. [quote_left]”In the end, The Gunners were simply too good, on both nights. Withou tdoubt, qualification was well and truly deserved.”[/quote_left]
Fenerbahce had pretty much accepted their fate, and saw no point of harassing Arsenal’s box any longer. Arsenal on the other hand, did well to keep their guard up, and their engines running.
Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere were all doing their part to keep Arsenal ticking, and in the seventy-second minute, The Gunners reaped their rewards for the fifth time across the two-legged fixture.
A good cross from Gibbs gave Ramsey another chance at goal - and he took it beautifully. The Welshman elegantly volleyed the cross first time into the far corner of the net, leaving Volkan stranded. It was a great goal, and a deserved one for Aaron at that.
Arsenal were now assured of victory, and so they relaxed even more, lightly prodding at Fenerbahce’s defence at their leisure. The travellers took the opportunity to kick and hassle our midfield, but in the end, The Gunners were simply too good, on both nights. Without doubt, qualification was well and truly deserved.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Made some fantastic saves in the first half, keeping out some pretty impressive efforts on goal. Almost made a fool of himself by giving away another penalty, but managed to avoid the player at the last second.
Carl was everywhere today. He did everything he could to assist Walcott offensively, and also did a great job of defending at the back, putting in some important tackles.
Another fine game at centre back for Bacary. You simply cannot tell that he is out of position. His entire performance was conservative and steady.
Per managed to help keep out quite a few attacks by cutting out crosses and winning headers in the box. Got booked for a silly sliding tackle. He really needs to calm those down.
Nacho was fairly solid defensively, as he blocked a few shots and crosses. However, his passing game was all over the place in the second half.
Ramsey: [9/10] - MOTM
Aaron was,yet again, outstanding. He kept calm for his first goal, and relied on pure instinct and confidence for his beautifully taken second. Worked hard all game, and kept Arsenal moving. Went off with some sort of knock with seconds to go. Probably precautionary.
Jack had a good game in the centre, and looked to be playing a more defensive role than usual,helping out Ramsey whilst Cazorla broke forwards. As usual, he showed some quick feet and intelligent turns, but needs to work on his final ball as well as his finishing.
Lukas had to go off with an injury at half time, but he was playing brilliantly up until that point. He helped create the first goal, and was showing some great touches in and around Fenerbahce’s box.
Santi was yet again involved in many Arsenal attacks. He continuously drove Arsenal forward, and always looked to be a threat. His super fast feet and trickery are truly mesmerizing at times, but he needs to get himself involved in the box a little more often.
For me, Theo hasn’t really started playing this season, and today was no exception. He seems static off the ball at times, and his finishing has been below what we have come to expect of him. However, he still managed to get involved in the first goal with some good movement inside the box.
Olivier could have grabbed himself another goal today, but lacked his finishing touch. He still got amongst the play though, bringing Cazorla, Podolski and Walcott into the game.
Kieran came on as a winger and did very well. His attacking play was useful,and he also provided some defensive stability. Great cross for Ramsey’s second too.
Yaya didn’t really have much of a chance to do anything, but he looked fairly comfortable. Made some good short-range passes, and had the confidence to shoot from far. I’d like to see more of him.
Ryo made some good runs with the ball late on, but his very first contribution was to lose it, and almost give away a foul. Perhaps the Champions League is a step to far right now. Promising nonetheless.
[title]The Rambo Show[/title]
Arsenal played some brilliant Football tonight, but I don’t think anybody can argue that it was indeed The Rambo Show.
Aaron Ramsey bagged himself two ell taken goals, and also bossed the midfield for most of the game. He looked stable defensively, and produced some excellent through balls to Walcott and Giroud in the first half. He was simply a joy to watch, especially alongside the likes of Cazorla and Wilshere.
Arenal are now into the Champions League, and that means transfers should start flowing. My featured post today was focused on where Arsenal should strengthen - I just hope Arsene had time to read it.
What do you think of the Arsenal vs Fenerbahce match? Share your views in the comments section below!