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UEFA Champions League
27 August 2013
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
• Attendance: 56271
A. Ramsey 25', 72'
Arsenal win Aggregate 5 - 0
More could perhaps be asked from the Gunners' frontline, while Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna may have fared differently against more testing opposition. But there is little that can be faulted in a commanding 2-0 (and 5-0 aggregate) win. For Fenerbahce: better luck next time. For Arsenal: job done. From me: thanks for reading and goodbye.
Other reliable performers - not for the first time - could be found in the form of Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and an overworked Jack Wilshere, while Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal also impressed.
Undeniably, the star of the show once again against the Turkish side was Welshman Aaron Ramsey. After a talismanic display in the first leg, the 22-year-old was the difference again tonight. His opening goal was the result of positional awareness, opportunism and the inevitable bit of luck. But his second was a moment of sheer brilliance. This one has a bright future, as Gunners fans will tell you.
A superb performance from Arsenal tonight as Fenerbahce were shut out from the very off. The visitors did have their chances, hitting the woodwork twice but, in truth, the hosts looked comfortable from start to finish.
FULL TIME! And now it is over!
90' + 2'
Great energy being shown by the home side here, even though the game - and the tie with it - is over in all but name.
90' + 1'
Ramsey is off the field of play with fatigue now. The Welshman's earlier booking appears to be for returning to the field of play without his boot. Not the worst offence ever seen...
ANOTHER SAVE! Jenkinson is now denied by a fantastic save after the right-back gets onto the end of a Miyaichi cross with a fine volley. Arsenal unlucky not to be three up!
SAVE! Wilshere almost justifies his presence after latching onto a great ball from Jenkinson but his turn and shot is stopped by the away goalkeeper.
Yellow CardGökhan Gönül
Gokhan is the most recent player to bring the England man down and he pays the price for a needless challenge with a deserved yellow card, the sixth of the night.
Things are slowly petering out now, although Wilshere is on the end of several cynical challenges from the Turkish side.
Fenerbahce's night is summed up by a long ball from Caner. The midfielder looks to switch the play from left to right and sends his pass way off target for a goal kick. What a waste.
Wilshere is bodychecked but the home side cannot find a third as Cazorla's resultant free kick hits the wall.
Two players really benefitting from precious game-time, however, are Ryo Miyaichi and Sanogo.
Remember: the hosts have used up all three of their substitutions. Perhaps Wenger would be better off allowing Wilshere to come off unreplaced.
Wilshere makes his way back into proceedings - but Sow takes his leave.
INJURY! Bad news here as Wilshere is down injured on the turf. He is escorted off the pitch by the Arsenal physio, although it does not look as serious as previous problems.
Jenkinson is dispossessed by Caner and what could have been an Arsenal attack now sees the visitors with possession inside the Gunners' half.
Just over 10 minutes to go and the home fans are in full voice at the Emirates. No guesses as to why: after all the uncertainty, Champions League football will be theirs once more. It was never really in doubt, was it?
Yellow CardRaúl Meireles
SAVE! Szczesny stops another powerful free kick from Bruno Alves. This time, the Portuguese defender's strike is central but, fortunately for the Polish stopper, it is straight at him.
JUST OVER! Sanogo looks to get in on the action after a jinking run from Cazorla. After the Spaniard beats his man and lays the ball off to Sanogo, a heavy touch from the striker puts pressure on his finish and he curls his shot over. Promising signs from the youngster, however.
Walcott is given a deserved break from duties after a fairly productive performance.
Sadly for the visitors, this is about as comprehensive as a two-legged defeat can get.
He is on a hat-trick...
Arsenal's day just gets better and better! Fantastic football from the Gunners once again as Gibbs is played in with a superb ball and the left-back surges towards the left edge of the penalty area to deliver a cross. What happens next is simply stunning. On the volley, 22-year-old Ramsey calmly slots the ball into the far corner to double his tally for the night. Excellent football.
Yellow CardAaron Ramsey
Perplexingly, Ramsey is booked. That puts a small shadow over an otherwise fine performance. The cause of the booking appears unknown - perhaps he said something to the referee.
CROSSBAR! Walcott hits the bar with the ensuing free kick! The England forward generates tremendous curl on the ball and is almost rewarded with a goal but it is not to be as the ball smashes off the woodwork. That was Arsenal's 10th attempt on goal - interestingly, Fenerbahce have had 12.
The hosts continue to pressure and Mereiles gives a free kick away inches away from the box with a clumsy handball.
Pierre Achille Webo
Double change for the visitors as Pierre Webo replaces Kuyt and Alper Potuk replaces Cristian. The sting has well and truly been taken out of Fenerbahce's tail now.
Gibbs receives the ball unmarked from the resultant corner but the defender cannot keep his header down as the ball floats over.
SAVE! Cazorla threatens to do just that as he surges down the left-hand side and flashes a brilliant low shot across goal. Demirel makes an equally fantastic save, however, and the ball flies out for a corner.
With the hosts 4-0 up on aggregate, the away side are being allowed more possession. But they have far from used it. Instead, the Gunners look more likely to score by catching the Turkish side on the break.
Jeers greet a shot from Sow that floats harmlessly over and wide. The striker had been played in by Mereiles but his turn and finish left a lot to be desired.
CHANGE! Yaya Sanogo comes on in place of Giroud - who has had a disappointing night. It is the first time the Frenchman has not scored this season, though it will not bother him too much as the job has virtually been done by the Gunners.
Mertesacker exits relative anonymity to stop an attacking move involving Kuyt and Emenike.
The energy is slowly draining from this encounter as the home side look to take the sting out of the game. But for the occasional Fenerbahce counter, there is little pace in the play at the Emirates.
It is interesting to note how many times the away team have hit the woodwork tonight - particularly for a side who have, by and large, been on the backfoot.
BOOKING! Emenike is booked for diving after he goes down very easily inside the Arsenal area. Goalkeeper Szczesny did make slight contact but the Nigerian forward went down far too softly.
OFFSIDE! Emenike and Egemen combine as the ball crashes against the Arsenal crossbar! The offside flag had already been raised, though.
The Turkish side continue to threaten but are almost caught on the break. However, Giroud is at fault twice as he, first, is dispossed and then gives a free kick away inside his own half. Although it has not been disastrous, tonight has not been his best night in a Red shirt, either - by a stretch.
In the meantime, the visitors have made their presence felt and have won a corner at the other end of the field after a blocked shot from Kuyt - among other attempts.
Gibbs' introduction does have positive connotations in an attacking sense, too, however, as the full-back can link-up with Monreal down that left-hand side.
Podolski is stretchered off the pitch and, in a defensive substiution, left-back Kieran Gibbs comes on to replace him. Interestingly, the defender finds himself in the box straight away. But, being a defender, he fails to take advantage as the away keeper collects the ball once again.
More, more, more! A cross is played into the area and a mix-up between Giroud and Giroud sees the ball go off the field of play. The good news for Arsenal, though, is that it goes off for a corner.
Wenger may want to remove him from the action as soon as possible.
Almost a goal straight away for the Gunners as Podolski drives a low cross into the area before it is blocked for a corner. The German forward limps off the pitch injured straight after, however. He looked to have pulled or strained a muscle as soon as he had delivered the cross.
The home side get us underway once again!
The action will be back underway soon so make sure your half-time cup of tea has done the trick and set yourselves up for what should be a straightforward procedure for the Gunners.
Better finishing must be demanded from Olivier Giroud in this second half, however, while there have been infrequently shaky moments from Arsenal's back four.
Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott have all been noticeable from the middle of the park once again, while Nacho Monreal has provided pace and energy down the left.
But how far can the north London side progress in the competition? Judging by tonight's performance, they should not have any problems in the group stages - especially considering the fact that they are seeded in Pot 1 of the draw.
So Arsenal are 3/4 of the way there! Champions League football will be theirs for yet another season.
HALF-TIME! Not to worry, however, as the half-time whistle blows shortly after and Arsenal head into the break with a 1-0 lead and 4-0 up on aggregate.
POOR FINISH! Giroud is played in by an excellent cross from the left-hand side but the Frenchman's shot flies way over the bar.
Podolski goes down inside the penalty area after being played in by Monreal (following initial work from Cazorla) but there was no foul - just a fall.
Fenerbahce coach Ersun Yanal looks frustrated with his side's lack of progress but he must have known this tie was beyond his team before tonight. Instead, his focus might just turn towards turning around the Turkish side's domestic form - as well as the pending decision on their European ban tomorrow.
And Walcott is almost played in again! This time the forward is onside but the pass is slightly overhit and the visiting keeper collects.
At the other end, the familiar sight of Wilshere playing in Walcott results in the diminutive England forward being ruled offside.
Caner ends a strong passage of play for the visitors in an anti-climactic fashion - a shot that sails yards over the bar.
Perhaps the Gunners should afford more attention to the Nigeria international - he really did come close there. A third shot also crashed against the crossbar, although play had already been stopped for an offside.
POST! Emenike's shot is pushed onto the post by Szczesny! And he denies Emenike once again straight after!
DEFLECTION! Arsenal almost double their lead again - this time through Cazorla - but the Spaniard's run ends with his shot being deflected out for a corner. From the resultant set-piece, the hosts maintain pressure until a free kick is won by Wilshere.
The home side have the ball once again, though, and are back in control. They have enjoyed 54% of overall possession so far.
Yellow CardPer Mertesacker
WOW! Almost a stunning equaliser as defender Bruno Alves curls an absolute rocket just over.
FREE KICK! Not a great tackle from Mertesacker on Sow, however, and a free kick in a dangerous area is given to the away side - as well as a booking to the German.
Why is it that the north London side often produce their best football in Europe but can't replicate such form in domestic games?
CHANCE! Giroud almost doubles the hosts' lead after more intricate passing from the Arsenal midfielders but a save from Demirel denies the Frenchman. The goalkeeper is then at hand again moments later to collect a loose cross.
NERVES FROM SZCZESNY! The ensuing corner sees the home stopper absolutely flap at two crosses, though he is given the benefit of the doubt by the referee and a free kick is given in his favour.
The visitors undergo a rare venture into the Arsenal danger area as a fine pass from Caner finds Kuyt in acres of space down the right! The Dutch forward delivers an underwhelming cross, however, although it does force a corner for Fenerbahce.
Yellow CardEgemen Korkmaz
Walcott's lightning speed becomes a powerful weapon once again as the winger twists and turns until he is brought down - against the rules - by Egemen Korkmaz. Yellow card.
Monreal surges down the left wing before Gokhan clears the ball out for a throw-in. Could a second be on its way soon?
What a start to the season Ramsey is having. He is really enjoying himself out on the Emirates turf and so too are the Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger does not allow himself a smile, however, as he knows there is still well over an hour to go.
A fantastic move from the Gunners all but ends a tie that was, in truth, already over. Ramsey deserves the plaudits but it was a fine team effort as the home side dispossessed a Fenerbahce pass and threaded the ball through to Walcott in the penalty area, who saw the ball through to the Welshman. The rest is history.
Arsenal look very comfortable in possession once again. Perhaps a similarly assured performance against Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League season would have had supporters lauding Wenger instead of criticising him.
And the hosts almost pay the price immediately! A great move on the break ends with a shot from distance just whisking past Szczesny's post.
It was Walcott who tried to curl a cross over the wall - yet the pass failed at the first hurdle, ricocheting off a Fenerbahce defender.
Arsenal win a free kick in the Turkish side's half on the twenty-minute mark. It is Lukas Podolski with the surging run that forces a Fenerbahce foul. Who will take the ensuing set-piece...
Could it be just a matter of time until the home side score? They look as though they haven't left first gear yet.
The away side are looking to string some passes together in the opposition half as former Premier League favourites Mereiles and Dirk Kuyt (who have both played for Liverpool) try to forge a chance. But the hosts are severely restricting their options at the moment.
UNLUCKY! A superb counterattacking move from Arsenal - started by Cazorla - ends with Giroud curling his shot wide of the Fenerbahce goal. Wilshere was the middle man as the ball went from the Spaniard to the Frenchman and he was unlucky not to get more on his shot.
The Arsenal fans are in good voice now as they urge their midfielders on every time they receive the ball.
SHOT! Walcott gets his shooting boots on but is denied by the Fenerbahce keeper.
Fenerbahce have most definitely had most of the play so far this evening but Arsenal will surely only be rattled if they concede.
CHANCE! Szczesny saves from Mereiles after a moment's panic in the Arsenal defence! Carl Jenkinson initially lost the ball in his own half and Sow and Emenike failed to capitalise. But the ball found its way to Mereiles at the near post and his prodded finish required a stop from Szcesny.
Good work from Podolski now ends with jeers as a miscommunication between Cazorla and Giroud sees possession squandered once more.
Wenger's back four - captained today by Mertesacker - have not looked threatened thus far, however.
Arsenal survive a light scare as a period of Fenerbahce pressure ends with Monreal winning a free kick for the Gunners in their own half. A goal for the visitors may put an end to any sense of calm there currently is around the Emirates, you sense.
Emenike links with Moussa Sow before a stray pass from right-back Gerkan Gonul gives possession away.
Ramsey is at the heart of the play as the home side now start to take control of matters and Walcott is almost played in but for a heavy touch - and an offside flag that rendered it futile, anyway.
Emmanuel Emenike - signed from Spartak Moscow by Fenerbahce this summer - has been the Turkish side's liveliest and most energetic presence so far.
Now it's the hosts' turn to press as Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal combine with Podolski down the left-hand side. Possession is squandered, however, as Fenerbahce win themselves a throw-in.
The corner leads to another corner before Raul Mereiles then sends a tame long-range effort into the palms of Wojciech Szczesny. A comfortable save for the Polish stopper.
Fenerbahce have opened proceedings and have managed to force Per Mertesacker into giving a corner way in the opening minute.
And we're off at the Emirates! Just 90 minutes separate both sides from Champions League football.
Before the match, Wenger has claimed that "there is not much difference at all" between finishing in the last 16 of the Champions League and winning the tournament outright. Meanwhile, the players are out onto the field of play...
We're less than 10 minutes away from kick-off and the players are almost ready!
More important will be how the Gunners fare in defence, however, so Bacary Sagna will have to have a good night in central defence if Arsenal are to avoid a famous European collapse.
Key to ensuring safe progression will undoubtedly be front men Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, who both have two league goals to their name already this season. Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla will also provide much-needed creativity but aside from Jack Wilshere, Arsenal's main playmaker might just be Aaron Ramsey after his terrific first-leg display.
On the face of it, Arsenal should be one step away from making Thursday's Champions League draw but stranger things have happened in football and Wenger knows his side aren't safe just yet.
And the visitors will look like this: (4-3-3) Demirel; Gonul, Alves, Korkmaz, Erkin; Meireles, Sahin, Cristian; Kuyt, Emenike, Sow. Subs: Gunok, Ali Kaldirim, Irtegun, Webo, Potuk, Topuz, Ucan.
Here's how the home side will be lining up tonight: (4-2-3-1) Szczesny; Monreal, Sagna, Mertesacker, Jenkinson; Wilshere, Ramsey; Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski; Giroud. Subs: Fabianski, Koscielny, Rosicky, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gibbs, Miyaichi.
Good evening and welcome to Goal's LIVE play-by-play commentary of Arsenal against Fenerbahce at the Emirates Stadium. I'm your host Tim Poole and I'll be guiding you through the action, so sit back, get comfortable and enjoy the football. Tonight is the night as far as Arsene Wenger is concerned as the Gunners look to turn a 3-0 first-leg advantage into full qualification into the Champions League. After a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, few would have thought that Wenger's men could be on the cusp of a third successive win just days later - but here they are.
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