Galatasaray 1 Arsenal 4

As there was much thunder & lightning I switched off everything at 12 am and thought I’d wait. But I fell asleep and missed the match – only to wake up and find that Poldi & Ramsey have scored a brace each for a 4-1 win. Maybe I should miss a few more games. Arsenal hammered an abject Galatasaray side but could not claim top spot in Group D as Borussia Dortmund avoided defeat in their final group game.

The Gunners – criticised for defeat at Stoke on Saturday – responded with three goals inside 30 minutes, Lukas Podolski powering an opener. Aaron Ramsey slotted a second and added a stunning left-footed 35-yard volley. Wesley Sneijder hit a free-kick consolation before Podolski rolled a second with the final kick of the game. It was fitting that Podolski, impressive throughout, ended the night by netting his third goal of the season with a powerful run but light finish. He has only started six times in Arsenal’s faltering league campaign but led from the front as Wenger’s side delivered the response he asked for after defeat against the Potters. Arsenal – sixth in the Premier League – eased off after the interval and counted on captain Per Mertesacker to produce a superb goal-line block to deny Umut Bulut from four yards.

Wenger had introduced three debutants in Stefan O’Connor, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem by the time Wesley Sneijder whipped in a powerful free-kick from 18 yards with a minute remaining. The effort flew past Wojciech Szczesny – who handled efforts well on his return from a four-game absence – but Podolski ended proceedings with a flourish, passing the ball into the net from 10 yards. In the round of 16 we could face either of the following teams : Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or Paris St-Germain, Porto, Monaco.

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