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'Hungry' Arsenal ready to deliver

Published: Thursday 27 August 2009, 18.00CET
If Arsenal FC's eye-catching displays have not provided enough of a hint, Aaron Ramsey underlined that his side are "hungrier than ever" to claim silverware after their play-off win over Celtic FC.
by Simon Hart
from London
'Hungry' Arsenal ready to deliver
Aaron Ramsey in action against Celtic ©Getty Images

Match statistics


Goals scored3
Attempts on target6
Attempts off target7
Fouls committed13
Yellow cards2
Red cards0


Published: Thursday 27 August 2009, 18.00CET

'Hungry' Arsenal ready to deliver

If Arsenal FC's eye-catching displays have not provided enough of a hint, Aaron Ramsey underlined that his side are "hungrier than ever" to claim silverware after their play-off win over Celtic FC.

If Arsenal FC's eye-catching displays so far this season had not provided enough of a hint, midfielder Aaron Ramsey underlined that the Gunners' squad are "hungrier than ever" for silverware as he reflected on their UEFA Champions League play-off victory over Celtic FC.

Lessons learned
Beaten semi-finalists last term, Arsenal produced an impressively fluent display to dispatch Celtic 3-1 in north London on Wednesday night – securing their group-stage berth as 5-1 aggregate winners. It was their fourth win in succession, maintaining a flying start by a team chasing a first trophy since 2005. "There were a few lessons we learned from last season, we had a good pre-season and the squad is stronger now, physically and mentally," said Ramsey. "A lot of the players haven't actually won anything for a certain amount of time and this season everyone is hungrier than ever."

'Open up the opposition'

The Welsh international underlined the confidence in the Arsenal camp when he reflected how their opponents "can't live with us" once they find their stride – something only too evident on Wednesday night. "It was a good display over the two matches," said Ramsey, who suffered an injury to his right knee, which will be assessed on Thursday. "We were very professional in the first leg. We won there and carried that on tonight. We know what we can do when we pass the ball. Opponents can't live with us at times. We just try and do that as much as we can in the game and open up the opposition and the manager encourages us to do that."

Arshavin praised
With Arsenal 2-0 up through Eduardo's first-half penalty and an Emmanuel Eboué strike, Ramsey entered the action after 61 minutes and combined with Andrei Arshavin as the Russian added a third goal in the 74th minute. The 18-year-old hailed the impact of Arshavin, saying: "He is a great player and a role model to a lot of people. He has got great feet, great vision and he can score goals as well. He is definitely someone to look up to."

Vermaelen caution
Arsenal's superb form – they have hit 15 goals in four games – led the in-form Alexandre Song to joke they could go "far, far, far, far, far" in this season's UEFA Champions League. However, another of the early success stories, new defender Thomas Vermaelen, warned that it was still early days yet. The Belgium centre-half has slotted impressively into the Arsenal back line and admitted he was happy with "two good games" against Celtic. However, the summer recruit from AFC Ajax added: "It is just the start, there are a lot of games to play. It is going well so far but it is too early – the most difficult thing is to maintain that success in the games to follow."

Last updated: 27/08/09 13.04CET

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