Arsenal have one foot strongly in the Champions League group stage after dispatching Fenerbahce 3-0 in a hostile atmosphere. Arsenal were dominant throughout the match, but, unlike against Aston Villa, they cut out, for the large part, the silly mistakes, and kept a clean-sheet. The one negative was losing Laurent Koscielny to injury: the Frenchman was hit in the face by Pierre Webo, and had to be subbed off. Koscielny is suspended against Fulham anyway, but Arsenal's resources at the back are being stretched quite thin.
Arsenal created few chances in the first half, despite their dominance in possession, with Theo Walcott looking the most likely to break the deadlock, just missing a couple of wonderfully passed diagonal through balls. In the second half, Fenerbahce, perhaps sensing an opportunity to go after a wounded Arsenal, pushed more forward and gave Arsenal more space to operate, and Arsenal duly punished them.
Aaron Ramsey, the best player on the night, brilliantly slipped in Theo Walcott, who crossed for Kieran Gibbs to tap in to make it 1-0. Moussa Sow and Emmanuel Emenike led the Fenerbahce response, but Ramsey quelled that when his low and hard driven shot nestled in the corner to make it 2-0. A brilliant Santi Cazorla long ball and great Theo Walcott touch led to the England winger being bundled over for a penalty, which Oliver Giroud duly scored.
So, a 3-0 lead from the first leg, with the second leg in London. Arsenal are in a powerful position; hopefully, this will inspire the team for the rest of the month.