Report: Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Starting XI: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Sanogo, Podolski

Subs: Martinez, Maitland-Niles, Zelalem, Akpom, O’Connor, Iwobi, Kamara

Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey scored twice each as the Gunners blitzed Galatasaray on the break to secure their second 4-1 win against the Turks in Group D.

The German striker scored a rasping effort in the third minute to set the tone and ended proceedings with his second in stoppage time after Aaron Ramsey grabbed an eye-catching brace of his own before the half hour mark.

The win sees the Gunners finish second in the table on 13 points, level with Borussia Dortmund who only managed a draw with Anderlecht, but with a worse goal difference.

Pre-game

Arsene Wenger announced 24 hours before kick-off that he’d be making five changes for the starting line-up that made such an horrendous start at Stoke on Saturday. Out went Martinez, Alexis, Giroud, Gibbs and Cazorla, in came Szczesny, Debuchy, Campbell, Sanogo and Podolski. The bench resembled a creche with six unfamiliar teenagers taken on the jaunt to a half-empty Turk Telecom Arena.

First half

We’ve not exactly proved ourselves the quickest starters in recent weeks, but for once that wasn’t the case. As the locals filed into the stadium Aaron Ramsey split the Galatasaray defence with a fine pass that Lukas Podolski latched onto off the left flank. The German, a specialist in kicking things hard, took one touch and wellied the ball into the roof of the net at the near post. 1-0 with only three minutes on the clock. 

After a couple of half chances for the home side we promptly doubled the lead on 10 minutes. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the architect with a powerful run through the middle, Ramsey joined him on the break, collected a pass on the left edge of the area, weighed up his options and carefully slotted in off the far post. It was a lovely finish to a fine move. 2-0. 

On paper the game meant little to either side but it proved to be a surprisingly niggly encounter. Flamini, Melo and Tarik all went into the ref’s book for late challenges; cacophonous boos accompanying all.

Arsenal’s speed on the break was a constant cause for concern for the hosts. Podolski nearly grabbed his second on 19 minutes, smacking the bar with an effort almost identical to that which opened the scoring, then Sanogo cut in and had a shot blocked by a defender’s hand after a great run by Campbell. The latter, along with the Ox were not impressed that the young Frenchman chose to go it alone when they were free.

Campbell and Podolski both had fine chances to add a third. Again the German, obviously in the mood to impress a club that he’s been regularly linked with over the last year, forcing a decent stop from keeper Sinan Bolat.

From the resulting corner Ramsey proceeded to net one of the best hit goals you’ll ever see. As the ball fell to the Welshman 30-yards out he nonchalantly swept home a rising volley that crashed into the top corner. It was a quite unbelievable strike, so good it had Sanogo putting his hand over his mouth in wonder. (3-0)

Galatasaray should have pulled one back as Bulut beat Szczesny to a Sneijder cross but his header flew just wide. In truth though it was Arsenal who always looked more likely to score again. Sandwiched between a host of home side pot shots, Campbell was foiled by a smart save from close range and Chambers headed over from a free-kick which the confident Ramsey swished into the box with the outside of his boot.

Second half

Sensing an opportunity to rest tired legs, Arsene Wenger replaced Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey with 17-year-olds Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem. The Welsh Jesus apparently had a tight hamstring, while the Frenchman was on a booking.

The hosts, having replaced Yilmaz and Camdal with Altintop and Oztekin, enjoyed more of the possession in the opening stages of the second period, but they were still troubled by the energy of Chamberlain and Campbell. Semih could do nothing but drag down the England international after one particularly muscular run and deservedly went in the book. Debuchy, tiring by the hour mark on his return from three months out, picked up a yellow of his own for a pull on Sneijder.

Szczesny fielded a series of tepid attempts before Mertesacker produced a stunning block at close range on 66 minutes to maintain the Gunners three goal advantage. Just for good measure Debuchy threw himself at a couple of crosses before being replaced on 75 minutes by another 17-year-old, Stefan O’Connor.

With three minutes remaining Sneijder finally grabbed a consolation for the Turks. Mertesacker was harshly penalised for handball after blocking an Altintop shot on the edge of the area and the Dutchman spanked the resulting free-kick into the top corner. Given the circumstance he didn’t bother celebrating, even though the strike was pretty tasty. (3-1)

Having started the game with a brilliant strike, Lukas Podolski drew a line under proceedings in stoppage time. Stealing in behind the Turks defence he finished with aplomb to cap a fine win. (4-1)

Borussia Dortmund’s draw with Anderlecht means we could have finished top had we have bagged a few more goals, but having entered the game with a weakened squad the win was more than most were expecting.

It’s all about the luck of the draw now…

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Maniac

Ramsey, what a hit son!

Baron Ramsey

Guess who’s got their swagger back.

cb

Better left footed goals than Poldi can score! That’s saying something.

Rambö

Your picture is scary but soothing at the same time.

And does this match show us that the Welsh Jesus is on his way back to divinity?

GoonerN16

Why scary?

SB

Podolski, delivers…a bullet! Hope Ramsey’s form improves with this.

Most importantly, there are no injuries today.

cygan'sbaldspot

what we can take from the game:

Podolski is a paradox

Campbell is pretty nifty

a spell on loan in january would do Hector the world of good

Aaron Ramsey is back from the dead

The Ox is going to be HUGE

The guy commentating on sky sports smokes 80 cigs a day

Filipe Melo is a prick !..

fatgooner's left peg

Spell on loan? We are already desperately short at the back!

Chairman Meow

100% agree with those statements

Man Manny

Agree but Ox needs to work on his passes…few wayward passes. Apart from that, a real asset to the team.

Maniac

Would also say that some squad rotation would do everyone a world of good – resting players to avoid injuries and giving some of our current bench some much needed experience and an opportunity to shine.

hurensohn

Campbell was pretty poor, missing defensivley and that they wouldn’t even pass to him when he was in space says it all for me.

Sanogo wasnt great either.

Positives far outweigh that though.

UGooner

Right, blame the poor guy because the others wouldn’t pass to him.

MERTESCIELNY

whisper it softly… rambo is back! joel campbell and podolski unquestionably NEED more game time. wonderful match to watch given recent turmoil.

Henry GoonerLegend

I must say we played with real hunger in the first half. Hope that the Welsh Jesus continues his upward spiral. Wouldn’t it be great if we ended up putting on a cup run?

bbob

That incredulous look Podolski gave Ramsey after that wondergoal, waving his hands in disbelief at his left foot as if to proclaim ‘What sorcery is this?!’

Glocken

Well done to the lads, very good professional performance.

Wonderful wonderful goal from Rambo.

Now let’s do Newcastle on Saturday.

Unnecessarilystupid

Bring on Bayern :-/

MERTESCIELNY

Would love to get Monaco or Porto! That would be a dream, but I can see us getting Bayern again – much like we seem to draw Dortmund every fucking season in the group stages!

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

I say anything but, bayern and real.m, but knowing our lack in the draws i will not comment further.

Harsh

I kind of like drawing Dortmund. They are a top team, they have a way of playing that’s distinctly non-mourinho-like, and are one of the few top teams who when win, you don’t look away in disgust. you know, fun of the champions league and all that.

Gus

We get Olympiacos even more.

Unnecessarilyoptimistic

We’ll batter Bayern 1ml – -1ml

Folarin

Lmao. I really wish you hadn’t said that. C’mon Bayern? Super funny my friend, super funny

Third Plebeian

Well, hopefully that put an end to all the moaners demanding that Wenger play Campbell week in week out.

‘Get out while you can’? What a joke.

Striker

Lol, he did a better job than Sanogo atleast. Same goes for Podolski. They just never got the chance by Wenger until now.

Timbo

What?

JACK IS A GOONER

Never seen a Volley like That . He caught it so low… Ramsey is back and Lukas is Clinical #Aha

DialSquareGoon

Let us give praise to the Welsh Jesus for though he had forsaken us (along with his shooting boots and defensive responsibilities) at the start of the season, in our darkest hour, after we were mauled at the hands of the vile orcs, he answered our prayers and blessed us with glorious goals. May his reign (of form) last forevermore.

Gunner pundit

A new form of artilery in their arsenal…missiles and talking of form I think ramsey may be back in it.

Thomas

So…. #WengerIn?

Striker

One game should not be sufficient to decide such things. I am wenger out because although I was happy with the performance today. If this was the ‘norm’ for our performances then nobody would complain.

Manx_Gunner

So the 3 games we won prior to Stoke… What were your thoughts?

Third Plebeian

So the games prior to the 3-game ‘streak’, what were your thoughts?

Any way you put it, this is a hugely disappointing season for us so far. This game does not change anything, just as it didn’t change anything with respect to our qualification or standing in the group.

Thomas

I guess the irony wasn’t clear enough.

MPLS

Let’s not bring that up. We were having such a nice time.

Jack

Really happy with that victory, great for some of the fringe players to get a good run out. However, can’t help but be a little disappointed that we didn’t try and go for the jugular in the second half. Dortmund only drew so we would have only needed 3 second half goals which was very doable given the opposition- I felt the 2 substitutes at the break disrupted the rhythm though. Still, can’t complain with that and seeing Liverpool bow out only makes the night even better!

Fireman Sam

I didn’t think the opposition were that weak. They closed us down well in the second half. Luckily their finishing was shit though. They could easily have scored a couple if their shooting wasn’t so bad, they made enough good chances.

Credit to our boys – that was not an easy game, even if they made it look it in the first half.

santori

Winners today :

Arsenal

Arsene

Podolski. What a (good) headache he is going to give the gaffer now. Simply clinical!

Ramsey. back to form in time for us hopefully. we could do with his wizardry in midfield.

Ox. Continues to impress. fantastic drive from midfield.

Flamini 100% pass completion. but of course we need a ‘physical DM’ type like say oh I dunno Felipe Melo perhaps.

😀

Fireman Sam

I wish you were right about Podolski but I’ve got a nasty feeling Arsene will continue to keep him on the bench.

MPLS

As mentioned above, Melo is a prick. That and we ran him over for much of the match. Let’s aim higher than that!

Third Plebeian

You realise that ‘form’ is not based on one game, right?

Talk about an overreaction.

fatgooner's left peg

Podolski back on the bench for the weekend?

Hi-brid

Debuchy back? Shit! Did I miss Christmas?!?

santori

Cos we’re likely to hear the doomsaying whingers moan about why Wenger did not go for 6 goals + and how tactically inept he is. More criticism of us finishing in second . Something about why he is stupid not to play Podolski and how he should play Bellerin. Since Gala didn’t win, something about how rubbish the Turkish league is anyway.

jamesgardner

the game is meaningless….now try winning 5 in a row in the premier league…that will help your argument more but I think you’ll have to wait a long time for that…

Zlatan

My god I love poldi…

Thomas

Glad to see Jesus back at his best. Thumbs up to Podolski as well. Two superb goals, and it was also great defensive effort from him, which led two the first of Ramseys goals.

Thierry Bergkamp

The 3-3 could be extremely costly.
Well played today, gotta give credit when due

Arsepedant

“could”? WAS!

That aside, great match today. Amazing goal from Ramsey, the way he swung his foot it looked like he was trying to chip it, but wow! What a rocket!

hapoy gunner

Can’t believe we didn’t top the group just because of Anderlecht 🙁

Brilliant arsenal today.

Hopefully we get Porto, Monaco, or athletico Madrid in that order . nobody else!

Rohit

Bayern / PSG / Real – Cya soon 😀

Arsepedant

Probably all three at once.

dgaj

Cautiously optimistic. Happy for Podolski but Christ if they had pressured our left side he’d have been found out. He AND Bellerin on the same side. Yikes! But hey, we got away with it.

Nice win.

Harsh

Credit it to podolski, he was defensively aware. I mean, whenever w e were without the ball, he was always there, just a few yards away from bellerin, in a way podolski made up for bellerin and bellerin in turn, made the runs on the left flank that podolski no longer has the legs for…

MPLS

Bellerin gave him the what-for a couple of times too. Moxie!

Jarred Grimshaw

Good performance from some of the up and comers. Ramsay and Ox brilliant, Podolski loves a crack.

Can’t help but be disappointed once again with the Anderlecht collapse, those types of fixtures have become familiar in the last few years, once again that may cost us dearly.

Gooner from Pretoria(Cap city)

Jesus Loves Turkey#Aaron Ramsey#

dickson kingunza

poldi should play more

False11

Well done lads: good answer to Saturday’s performance- Rambo 2.0 Poldi 2.0- gave some young guns a run out too- debuchy is back- good day.

rossi88

Lets be honest. Galatasaray are shite. But it was nice to see some drive in the mf and some great finishes. Lets hope we get a kind draw. Mention for the ox and ramsey. Well played

Si in Galway

4-1 away to see us into the champs league but I feel a bit deflated. Admittedly the second half was boring as hell… something about the performance of the kids wound me up today. In years gone by our youth squads would come out tearing at the opposition and taking on the best of them. Zelalem, AMN, Sanogo & O’Connor seemed to set the tone for second half: no urgency, jogging around on someone else’s 3 goal cushion, slow short passes, standing off tackles, not pressing the opponents… aren’t they supposed to be fresh as dasies and frothing at the… Read more »

Bullet in the Chambers

I woukd greatly appreciate it if arseblog puts together an article with gifs of all the reactions of the players to Ramsey’s strike

Brent

I second this.

CMoney33

Aye!

keirangibbs'legs

Aye aye! It’ll be hilarious

Baron Ramsey

Sanogo looked terrified.

JM

I like Gala’s number 28 (I think) by the penalty spot. He sort of shits himself as Rambo hits it, follows it into the net then turns back around like “wait, WHAT?”

midgunner

“Again the German, obviously in the mood to impress a club that he’s been regularly linked with over the last year…”

Or maybe just trying to impress the club he plays for?

Deano

Another great performance from the Ox

SB

Liverpool in Europa league or whatever that competition is called (forgive the ignorance of a competition that we have never been in under AW).

That severely dents one of our challenger’s for the top four spot.

Hope to see Man C join them tomorrow.

Arsepedant

Although, to play devil’s advocate, the fewer English teams make the knock-out stage, the greater hit England’s UEFA league coefficient takes. If it gets battered enough, England’s down to three teams in the CL instead of four. And that’s not particularly good news for us.

SB

Which is were I’m hoping we actually buy a CB and maybe even a DM and are able to go a long way in this competition – it’s not beyond us.

Don’t know if that helps but I suspect Chelsea will as well 🙁

While I continue my fantasy, we meet the in the Semis and AW gets his first win over that cunt!

Darren

I wouldn’t be getting too worried, Italy is the nearest country to taking that 4th spot from England, and there coefficient is much lower than ours.

Paul

In my very humble opinion.

Dubuchy, so good he is back.
Ramsey said two weeks ago “I am nearly back to fully match fit” OMG he his now!
Campbell needs another game to see if he can get in the first team. Doubt it.
I am so sorry but Sanogo (needs more games?) but he is really not up to scratch to be challenging for a first team place in this team!
Podolski has the ability to break keeper’s wrists (and they know it) but I can see Wengers point on him.

Anyway COYG good game.

DublinGooner

And lo Welsh Jesus doth smote the Galatasaray net from distance

IAM ARSENAL

Very good response. Not just the goals but the way we beasted them for the first half hour was great to see. Ramsey’s strike was phenomenal, loved the reactions of Sanogo, Podolski and Woj. Thought his first was a much better finish then he is getting credit for as well. Thought Ramsey and The Ox were exceptional especially that blitzed first 30, just makes you wonder what this Midfield would be capable of with a truly world class Dm at the base of it. Podolski as is the norm finished wonderfully but he also worked harder than usual and he… Read more »

Eddee

#aha opening goal. Closing goal. #aha

IAM ARSENAL

Oh and Debuchy was good up until he hilariously began to tire.

GoonerN16

Why hilariously? Debuchy has been injured for several months and was not due back til the new year. Come on Shad! Work your magic.

IAM ARSENAL

Podolski with two great finishes, but he worked hard and was more involved in the overall play. Good performance.

Ramsey and Ox completely dominated..And i took great pleasure when they seemed to be taking it in turns to embarrass the POS that is Felipe Melo.
Loved the players reactions to Ramsey’s goal.
Campbell considering his lack off game time was exceptional.

Good solid team performance after Saturdays nightmare.. On to Newcastle.

Merlin's Panini

That’s more fucking like it. More of the same please! Great performance. Just goes to show it doesn’t hurt to mix it up sometimes instead of running people into the ground! The team looked unified. Can we play Galatasaray every week?

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

We are playing every year in CL, and we get out of the group, with so many problems building the new staduim that put us at debt and no money to buy players, the best players leaving year after year and we never once failed to qualify or get out of the CL group, so think hard we could be doing far far worse, like Liverpool they lost the best player suarez, they spend 110m on new players and are out of the CL, with far easearei teams like basel and ludogorets. we are all frustated about our season but… Read more »

Arsepedant

^ What he said.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

great comment from a barca fan on goal.com I hope we dont draw arsenal in the round of 16. Im sure messi, neymar and suarez can handle their defence, but its their pace that worries me. Those wingers vs pique, mathieu and alves? lol. and idk what all the fuss about wenger is. it sindividual mistakes and injuries that cost arsenal. I watched that Arsenal Man Utd game – Arsenal dominated from minute 1 to 90. Who was it that missed a breakaway? cazorla or ramsey? one of the central midfielders. 25 attempts on goal or something like that and… Read more »

Arsepedant

That should be tattooed on the chest of every Wenger Out nutcase. Using bamboo slivers. And sulphuric acid.

bims lay

…….lol….agree with every word you both wrote

Trez

Care to tell me what we “missed” with Giroud being out. Those teams you mentioned would cope with injuries far better than we do because they have depth and a balanced squad unlike us where we always have to play players out of position. As for us dominating; well man u did what they always do against us – sit back and hit us on the break with ruthless finishing. I find it disgraceful that people still bring up that man u game despite them playing with mcnair, blackett and young as defenders, we still lost. We all love wenger… Read more »

IAM ARSENAL

I notice that when we lose these blogs seem to explode but when we win it’s quiet.. I guess its far easier to deliver hate and negativity.

Runkeball

Classic behaviour of any “Manager Out” brigade anywhere. Club does well – they go quiet, club does badly – they crawl out from underneath their rock.

Trez

Please…guess you want us to be happy with losing right?

IAM ARSENAL

Not at all…But if you feel entitled to have a say when we lose than do so…But when we win also have a say..Don’t just appear when things are not going well.

jamesgardner

There’s nothing to say…after 10 years of underachieving…because we know those wengerin guys are going to use meaningless victories in games that don’t matter to prove their point. Facts are facts, we’re not winning the league; we’re nowhere near challenging either so that sums it up pretty well. In fact this games just proves Wenger’s stubbornness, if he was willing to tinker and make some changes to his squad by playing some fringe players instead of persisting with out of form players week in week out (or protecting the homegrown english players’ legacy) thinking they’ll come good eventually further alienating… Read more »

Trez

I always applaud the team when they do well.
I don’t get why some people think you’re being “negative” when you’re being honest.

Runkeball

Thank you!

False11

Interesting to see Ramsey thrive in a midfield without Alexis… Maybe it’s a coincidence, but they have very contrasting styles that could be complementary, but haven’t been in sync too much this season. Hoping to see that partnership grow. Hoping to see 5 other goals of that quality in my life.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

We are playing every year in CL, and we are constantly to knockout stages, with so many problems building the new stadium that put us at debt and no money to buy players, the best players leaving year after year and we never once failed to qualify or not going to knockout stages, so think hard we could be doing far far worse, like Liverpool they lost the best player suarez, they spend 110m on new players and are out of the CL, with far easier teams like basel and ludogorets. We are all frustrated about our season but bear… Read more »

Trez

Superb First half…was plesantly surprised. Ox was superb in the middle, loved how the bullied melo occasionally. Misplaced a couple of passes though Debuchy showed us what we’ve been missing while he was out(despite not even being fully fit) Sanogo needs to go out on loan…. Happy to see zelalem, niles and connor. Zelalem and niles looked composed(don’t know if wenger told them not to take risks). Poldi was great…made some great runs. Horror show at anderlecht has come back to haunt us. Ramsey SLOWLY getting that confidence back. made a couple of great passes. This is what we need… Read more »

Red Ed

He is risen.

gazgoon

Loved today! Thought the team played really well. Very cohesive 1st half, but disrupted alittle in the second due to subs. If it weren’t for the wonder strike from the Welsh Jesus, I’d think we’d all be banging on about the Pod missile that opened the account tonight. Did they change the net after that strike? Were any Gala fans injured? Will they have to check the stadium roof for damage?

PodB

It was one very bad pub team against one very good EPL team … Newcastle will be twice as tough so let’s wait until then before Arsene is let out from under the pile of shite that has been crapped on him for the last few days by plastic fans (Stoke station) and the reactionary media (Daily Smell) … I don’t want Wenger out at the moment, but as he says, judge him at the end of the season. Debuchy was very good in his comeback and Ramsay/Ox looked like world beaters … And were are still the Invincibles, thank… Read more »

dholio

a lot of hash tag cracks and gags at Podolski pre match, but he had a fine match and did what he does best with that left foot hammer. Doubt he’ll start again this year but maybe his transfer value has gone up a bit now because of this performance. Personally I would love to see him stay and get some more minutes from Arsene. Sanogo was so so but Campbell looked useful and hopefully they’ve given Arsene some thought that he can actually rotate his squad or even sit some guys out when their form is cack. Ramsey might… Read more »