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Fenerbahçe floored by rampant Arsenal

Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 0.54CET
Fenerbahçe SK 2-5 Arsenal FC
Early goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott set the visitors on their way to ending Fenerbahçe's 15-match unbeaten home European run.
by Türker Tozar
from Sükrü Saraçoglu Stadium
Fenerbahçe floored by rampant Arsenal
Theo Walcott puts Arsenal 2-0 up ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 22 October 2008, 0.54CET

Fenerbahçe floored by rampant Arsenal

Fenerbahçe SK 2-5 Arsenal FC
Early goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott set the visitors on their way to ending Fenerbahçe's 15-match unbeaten home European run.

Arsenal FC ended Fenerbahçe SK's 15-match unbeaten home European run in stunning style after early strikes by Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott gave them an advantage they never relinquished.

Frantic start
The first two goals were of similar style as Adebayor and Walcott sprinted clear within a minute of each other, and a Mikaël Silvestre own goal did not stop Arsenal's momentum thanks to Abou Diaby's strike. That was all in the first 22 minutes, and despite some frantic Fenerbahçe efforts, Alexandre Song made it 4-1 early in the second half. Although Daniel Güiza pulled another back, 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey had the last word and Arsenal look in control of UEFA Champions League Group G.

Early chance
Fenerbahçe coach Luis Aragonés opted to start with Chilean midfielder Claudio Maldonado, omitting Turkey winger Kazım Kazım altogether, but while Uğur Boral forced Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia into a save on four minutes, it was the visitors who were making the running. Önder Turacı's last-minute injury meant Gökhan Gönül started at right-back after a foot injection, but Fenerbahçe's defence were stretched by the pace of Arsenal and were soon breached twice in quick succession by the guile of Cesc Fàbregas.

Quickfire goals
On ten minutes the Spain midfielder's through ball was timed perfectly for lone striker Adebayor to beat the offside trap and slot past Volkan Demirel. Seconds later the goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net again. This time Fàbregas found Walcott, who sprinted clear of Edu and rounded the goalkeeper before tapping in.

Comeback thwarted
However, Fenerbahçe's fans were not about to give up and hopes of the sort of comeback that took them to last season's quarter-finals were raised eight minutes later when Alex's free-kick fell to Güiza, whose shot deflected in off Silvestre, making only his second start in an injury-hit Arsenal defence. The visitors did not lower their tempo, though, and three minutes later made it 3-1 with yet another quick break, the fit-again Diaby marking his first start of the season with a calm finish. Yet that might not have been all of the scoring before the break, Güiza and Semih Şentürk coming close on several occasions.

Song goal
Those misses were to prove costly as within four minutes of the restart it was 4-1. Selçuk Şahin's attempted clearance from a Fàbregas free-kick hit the head of Edu and the grateful Silvestre nodded the ball down for Song to claim his second Arsenal goal. Aragonés soon introduced Ali Bilgin on the right, although the visitors had shut up shop and Fenerbahçe were not finding chances as easy to come by as before the interval.

Late consolation
Güiza did end his personal frustration with 12 minutes left when he pounced on Song's looser header to elegantly chip Almunia although appropriately the last word belonged to Arsenal, substitute Ramsey, on his competition debut, striking low into the net from outside the box. Arsenal now lead Group G by two points from FC Dynamo Kyiv; Fenerbahçe are bottom with just one draw to their name and desperately need a result in London on 5 November.

Last updated: 22/10/08 10.37CET

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