By Richard Clarke

Manuel Almunia has labelled Tuesday night's victory at Fenerbahce as a “strange” and “crazy” game.

The 31-year-old was handed a tough task for his first match as Arsenal captain – a European tie in Turkey.

However, Almunia saved from Ugur Boral at point-blank range in the opening moments and the visitors capitalised on that by scoring twice in 70 seconds around the 10-minute mark.

Mikael Silvestre then inadvertently put the ball high past Almunia however Arsenal responded immediately through Abou Diaby.

The visitors could have added to their lead before the break but Daniel Guiza, a former team-mate of Almunia at Recreativo Huelva, spurned two fine chances to pull Fenerbahce back into the game.

Alex Song seemed to have put the game beyond doubt early in the second half but Guiza did beat Almunia before substitute Aaron Ramsey wrapped things up in injury time.

The match finished 5-2 but it could have easily have been 10-4.

“It was a crazy game,” admitted Almunia afterwards. “There were so many chances it seemed like a training match.

“The game started well for me with that save. It made things easier. After that I found the game more comfortable.

“Personally I had a strange feeling about the match, everything seemed much easier than normal in the Champions League.

“But it must have been a great game for the supporters of both clubs.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
22 Oct 2008