Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: A Danny Welbeck Turkish Delight
Arsenal 4 (Welbeck 22′, 30′, 52′, Sanchez 41′) – Galatasaray 1 (Yilmaz pen 61′)
Emirates Stadium (Champions League)
Following the draw against Tottenham, the Gunners knew that they had a stern test against a Galatasaray side with half an eye on the Chelsea game on Sunday. With the Gunners facing some injury woes, Arsene Wenger had to use the resources at his disposal and the squad he lined up for the game was as strong as ever.
Galatasaray almost opened the scoring when Alex Telles skipped past Calum Chambers before firing his shot wide. Arsenal pegged the Turks when a diagonal Kieran Gibbs was met by Danny Welbeck and the quick English forward poked the ball through Fernando Muslera’s legs.
Welbeck doubled his money when he showed great determination to get the ball on his stride before placing the ball past Muslera in goal. He almost scored his third in quick fashion when he hurriedly fired the ball straight at the goalie after picking up a cushioned pass from Mesut Ozil. The away side had a foray forward with Goran Pandev blasting a shot that was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
The Galatasaray fans expressed their frustrations by throwing flares into the pitch and it was heartwarming seeing the club’s captain, Welsey Sneijder, going to the away section to calm the volatile fans down.
Following the delay from the flares, Arsenal picked up where they left off with Alexis Sanchez latching unto Ozil’s pass before placing the ball past Muslera to make it three. At the start of the second half, Sanchez instigated a counter attack and fed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that took on the Galatasaray defense before providing a cut back that was intercepted before it got to Ozil.
Welbeck got his moment of glory as he converted Oxlade-Chamberlain’s sumptuous pass before dinking the ball over Muslera for his first hat-trick in Arsenal colors.
The Gunners were in party mode but the night was marred by a red card brandished to Szczesny after he hacked down Burak Yilmaz in the box. The Turkish forward waited for David Ospina to come into the pitch before placing the ball past him. Tomas Rosicky came in for the Ox and almost scored when Santi Cazorla’s lofted ball was headed over the bar by Welbeck. Had Rosicky notified Welbeck that he was in a better position to score, it would have been 5 – 1.
Arsenal’s red card opened things up for Galatasaray and Sneijder was one of the players that had a few stings at goal. Late on, Ospina made a wonderful save from Ospina. The Gunners almost made it five when Cazorla chipped the goalie but Semih was on hand to clear the ball from the line.
As expected, Wenger ran out of superlatives for Welbeck in his post-match conference,
“He was on the end of good movements tonight and we had good pace in our game. Our transition play and our finishing was good, and Danny was at the end of good collective movements. Of course it’s good to see that he’s slowly gaining confidence and finishing well. It’s nice to see the potential is there and he’s starting to get there – hopefully that hat-trick will help him gain confidence.”
Welbeck showed off his pace and strength and his finishing was top-notch. This haul of goals will give him some confidence ahead of the all-important clash against Chelsea.
Hats off to Welbeck, that served the Gunners with some Turkish delight.
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