Galatasaray 1 Arsenal 4: Ramsey and Podolski Bring Some Turkish Delight
Galatasaray 1 (Sneijder 88′) – Arsenal 4 (Podolski 3′, 90′, Ramsey 10′, 29′)
Rather unusually, Arsene Wenger named his squad almost 24 hours before the game so for the first time in a while, the fans knew what to expect on the pitch. The performance against Stoke still lingered in the minds of the fans so a great shift in Turkey would have gone a long way in restoring confidence to the team lads.
From the onset, the Gunners were firing on all cylinders and when I mean firing, I mean the early surface-to-goal missile that was blasted in by Lukas Podolski. For a player that had grumbled so much about his lack of playing time, that was the ideal to give his manager something to think about.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played through the middle and showed great footwork to evade a marker before teeing up Yaya Sanogo. But sadly, the lanky French lad lost his footing and hit the turf. The hosts had a chance to equalize when the ball ricocheted off Per Mertesacker to Hakan Banta but the Turk fired his effort wide.
Chamberlain was in the thick of things again as he instigated another attack and hurled the ball to Ramsey before he was clattered by a Galatasaray defender. The ref used the advantage rule as Ramsey was clean on goal and the Welsh Jesus side-footed a tame shot that crept into the net. Chamberlain’s awesomeness was on show again as he split the defense open with another ball to Podolski and as expected, Poldi went for power and smashed the hell out of the cross bar.
Joel Campbell had a rather frustrating match and had a couple of half chances that was dealt with effectively by the Galatasaray defense. Ramsey turned provider when he cushioned a ball to Podolski but the goalie did well to parry the German’s shot for a corner.
Then the unbelievable happened.
The corner was swung in and was headed to safety by some random bloke but as it fell into Ramsey’s path, the Welsh Jesus used his weaker left foot to arrow a piledriver into the top corner. The goal was so magnificent even some sections of home crowd were on their feet applauding what they just saw. That goal at least deserves a nomination in the next Puskas award.
At the start of the second half, Wenger wisely took out Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini for those youngsters in the forms of Gedion Zelalem and Maitland-Niles. As for expected, the introduction of these lads affected the team’s style of play and Galatasaray grew in some measure of confidence. However, they weren’t penetrating the Arsenal rearguard. There was still time to hand a debut to another youngster, Stefan O’Connor that came on for a visibly jaded Matt Debuchy. It was good seeing the Frenchman back in action after a while out.
Late on, Galatasaray got a consolation goal with a peach of a free kick for Wesley Sneijder but Arsenal got their three goal cushion when Podolski showed some strength to ward off a challenge before placing the ball past the goalie to make it four.
This win would boost the confidence of the lads ahead of the all-important clash against Newcastle. And it’s also worth noting that the resounding victory was achieved with many first team regulars rested. Lukas Podolski’s performance was worth talking about and one feels that he needs an extended run of games to at least prove himself but I have a hunch that he’d return to bench warming duties on Saturday. Ramsey is another player that would be elated by his performance and he has been sniffing for goals all season long. Now he has had three in his last two games.
Nonetheless, it was good seeing some Turkish delight from Podolski and Ramsey.
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