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Ramsey at the double as Arsenal breeze through

Tuesday 27 August 2013 22.40 CET
Aaron Ramsey takes his team-mates' congratulations after opening the scoring

Arsenal FC eased into the UEFA Champions League group stage for a 16th consecutive year as a pair of Aaron Ramsey strikes ensured they completed their task against Fenerbahçe SK with minimal fuss.

Having triumphed 3-0 in Istanbul, Arsenal had an obvious assurance about them and they added to their aggregate lead through the industrious Ramsey after 25 minutes. The more effective side in dangerous areas, they faced only sporadic problems from their Turkish opponents, who fell further behind to another Ramsey effort after the break and will have to content themselves with a UEFA Europa League berth.

Fenerbahçe made seven changes to the side beaten at home last week, but if Ersun Yanal was hoping for an early goal from his rejigged lineup, he was frustrated. Wojciech Szczęsny needed to bat away the ball after a Bacary Sagna clearance had rebounded off Raul Meireles, yet otherwise the visitors were a subdued force in the early stages, with Arsenal in no mood to let any suspense slip back into the tie.

Instead, Arsène Wenger's men soon gave themselves even more breathing space. Lukas Podolski released Theo Walcott, and although Caner Erkin slid in to tackle, Ramsey was on hand to sweep the ball in. Volkan Demirel then had to deny Olivier Giroud on the left, before Fenerbahçe finally went close, Szczęsny turning Emmanuel Emenike's near-post effort onto the woodwork and thwarting the same player with his body following a cross.

Podolski left the field on a stretcher with an apparent hamstring injury shortly after the interval, but otherwise the Gunners looked unruffled once again, and threatened to increase their advantage when Santi Cazorla drew a superb fingertip save from Volkan.

With Walcott then sending a free-kick against the crossbar, another Arsenal goal felt inevitable and Ramsey eventually provided it, the Welshman volleying low inside the far post from substitute Kieran Gibbs's cross. The locals enjoyed that – along with the promise of another year at Europe's top table.

 

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