Arsenal needed to get off to a fast start against Galatasaray, especially as Arsene Wenger had picked a pretty attacking line-up with Cazorla, Chamberlain, Ozil and Alexis backing up Danny Welbeck. And we certainly did that.
The Gunners quickly exposed the Turkish side and dominated possession but with a real purpose. Ozil may have looked a bit laboured to start with but he soon got into the game, but it was Alexis who looked the most dangerous and it was the Chilean’s slide role ball that Welbeck raced on to for the opening goal after 22 minutes.
If the first was taken well by our new striker, through the keeper’s legs, his second was better as he leaped onto a defensive mistake to outmuscle and outrun Melo before producing a cool finish. Arsenal were flying and the Turks were crumbling while their fans lost the plot and threw flares onto the pitch.
Melo should have been sent off twice for his horror tackle on Alexis but escaped with just a yellow, but our star man punished him anyway with another great goal after a nice assist by Ozil. The only worry was the risk of injury with quite a few heavy challenges starting to fly in as their frustration grew.
Prandelli changed their system at the break and they started with intent, forcing a couple of early corners, but the Gunners had their attacking game going and Welbeck was in full flow. He could have had a third before halftime but made no mistake when the Ox played him in after 52 minutes to make it four.
It was another good striker’s finish from the England man and those questions about his ability to score enough are being answered. But the night was spoiled a bit when Szczesny was sent off conceding a penalty which Yilmaz scored so not the clean sheet we deserved. We just needed to shut up shop and with Chelsea on Sunday, Wenger took off Alexis,then Chamberlain and finally Ozil.
The 10 men did well to stay compact and largely restict the Turks to long range shots, with Ospina having to make a few sharp saves late on. And Santi was inches away from a fifth. Well done Welbeck on a great night for the Gunners.