Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that his players are frustrated despite thrashing Galatasaray by four goals at their own ground.
The game saw the return of Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy after a long injury lay-off and the likes of Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo were given a rare Champions League outing. The gunners settled into their usual passing rhythm very quick and took the lead through a Lukas Podolski strike that came in the third minute. The German was set up nicely by midfielder Aaron Ramsey who undoubtedly had his best 45 minutes of the season so far against the Turkish side.
Ramsey then went on to score himself in the 11th-minute by virtue of a brilliant Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain run that tore apart the Galatasaray defence. Wenger’s side found themselves 3-0 down at half time in their last Premier League game against Stoke City but looked in the opposite mood against Galatasaray as a stunning 28-yard Ramsey strike in the 29th minute made it 3-0 for the North Londoners inside half an hour. The gunners could have had a few more in the 1st half but took the foot of the pedal in the dying minutes.
Galatasaray came out in the second half, wanting to salvage some pride for their fans. Wenger made two changes at half time as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem made their debut’s as they replaced Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini. Wenger’s men soaked up the pressure and looked happy to finish the group in second place. The Galatasaray fans did have a moment of joy as a brilliantly struck Wesley Sneijder free kick found the back of the net in the 87th minute. Arsenal however did restore their three-goal lead in the last kick of the game through Podolski.
Arsenal were hoping that group leaders Dortmund would slip up at home to Anderlecht, but the German side held on for a draw to top the group. The gunners needed to win by six goals and hoped Dortmund would draw their game. The latter part worked out, but Arsenal couldn’t score the required amount of goals to increase their goal difference. Manager Arsene Wenger said, “There’s a little bit of frustration, but we knew at half-time we needed to score six without conceding.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t enough, we finished with 13 points and did the job tonight.
“We came out strong and that’s what I wanted from these players.
“We had two favourites responding to the fact they were favourites. We won four games and had one draw, we can maybe regret that point at home to Anderlecht.
“There’s some great teams in there and we need to wait and see who we get.”
With 13 points from a possible 18, the league stage was relatively a good one for Arsenal, but as they finished second, they could face the holders Real Madrid in the last 16.