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Arsenal 4 - 1 Galatasaray: /Welbeck'd

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Danny. Danny!

Paul Gilham


1 - 0 Danny Welbeck 22'
2 - 0 Danny Welbeck 30'
3 - 0 Alexis Sanchez 41'
4 - 0 Danny Welbeck 52'
4 - 1 Burak Yılmaz 63' pk

Arsenal won comfortably, in the end, today, against a Galatasaray side that were outclassed for 62 minutes. Some lax defending from Calum Chambers and a moment of youthful madness from Wojciech Szczesny stained an otherwise great game from the home side, who nonetheless have restored a positive goal difference and 3 points in their Champions League group.

From the start, Arsenal looked pretty Arsenal, controlling possession and the flow in Galatasaray's half, allowing the occasional break and good chances for the visiting Turks. But 22 minutes in, Alexis Sanchez picked up the ball wide on the left and slid a nice pass through for Welbeck to run onto and prod home underneath an onrushing Fernando Muslera. Arsenal continued to apply pressure after the opener, and it didn't take very long for the second goal to materialize, Welbeck this time taking advantage of a wayward Galatasaray pass to dart past the defenders and slot home at the far post.

The away fans were understandably dismayed at their team's showing thus far, and responded by lighting off at least three flares and tossing them onto the pitch, a happening that could see Arsenal pick up the fine for not properly searching supporters on the way into the Emirates. Seems a bit harsh, but them's the rules, I guess.

Anyhow.

Galatasaray really weren't clicking well at all, their back three easily getting shredded with passes through the channels, and Mesut Özil found one that Sanchez ran onto before allowing his defender to fly past him, shaping up and scoring at Muslera's far post again. It was all pretty simple stuff, Galatasaray offering very little resistance.

The Turks made a shift at halftime, going to a back four and moving Felipe Melo up to the midfield, and it seemd to work for a bit until, well, it didn't, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sliding through for, who else, Danny Welbeck, who (oh don't do 'em like that, Danny!) did 'em like that.

Arsenal should have really solidified and smothered the match at this point, but they know that people paid good money for entertainment or something, and so Calum Chambers got a little sloppy, allowing a pass to turn him inside out before Yilmaz eventually worked through on goal, and then Wojciech Szczesny Szczesnyed things up, sprinkling a little salt in Arsenal's delicious cappucino. Straight red for denial of goalscoring opportunity was the result, and David Ospina came on, but couldn't keep out the penalty kick, and the clean sheet was gone.

Arsenal, down to ten men, began to allow more half-chances, but none were very close aside from a Sneijder shot that went just wide of Ospina's post, and a header from Yilmaz that Ospina caught and then threw out before he crossed the line with the ball, 5.6 from all the judges for artistic merit. But the Gunners were able to see the match out more or less, Tomas Rosicky and Welbeck both nearly getting through to make it 5-1 before Santi Cazorla's try at the death was cleared off the line.

The main concerns after going down to ten, of course, will be fatigue going into the Chelsea match on Sunday, but there should be ample time to rest up. A different approach will be required as well, but that's for another day.

For now: relish in the noiceness.