Arsenal 4-1 CSKA Moscow

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Interview

Aaron Ramsey on THAT incredible goal

Aaron Ramsey has scored some fabulous goals in his time at the club - and he arguably topped the lot with his brilliant finish against CSKA Moscow on Thursday.

But what did the man himself make of it? And how did he rate the overall performance?
 
This is what he told the media:
 
on whether they’ve already got one foot in the semi-final…
I don’t know. We knew that the home leg was going to be important and that we had to score goals and thankfully we did, but we know that it’s going to be a difficult game over there. But we’ve put ourselves in a good position.
 
on having plenty of chances to get his hat-trick...

Yeah, I know. I like to make those late runs into the box and I had plenty of opportunities but I'm happy that I contributed to the team today. But yeah, on another day I might have got a third, but it wasn’t to be.
 
on his second goal…
I saw a little movement [from the keeper] so I knew if I managed to get it over him I would have had a chance of it going in and thankfully it did.
 
on asserting their dominance…
We always knew that at home we needed to score goals and we managed to do it. Laca’s back in the team and scored a couple as well, so we’ve managed to score quite a few goals lately and hopefully that will continue until the end of the season.
 
on if there are any worries about the trip to Moscow in the current political situation…
No, of course not. We’re going over there for a game of football so we’re looking forward to that and we know we have a game on Sunday now so we will prepare for that. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and hopefully we can finish off strongly.

Gallery

Pictures: Rambo's wondergoal against CSKA

Aaron Ramsey's second goal against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night will live long in the memory.

The Wales international sent a sensational volleyed flick over Igor Akinfeev in the first half, drawing audible gasps from the Emirates Stadium crowd.

Our club photographer caught these images of the goal:

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 4-1 CSKA Moscow: How it happened

Arsenal celebrate against CSKA

WHAT HAPPENED

Aaron Ramsey scored a sensational goal as we ran out 4-1 winners against CSKA Moscow in the first leg of our Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.
 
In a frenetic first half, we blew the Russian visitors away with a brilliant display of incisive attacking play  to score four times – although we did give up an away goal.
 
We started with real intent, with Henrikjh Mkhitaryan hitting the sidenetting and Ramsey having a goal disallowed within the opening seven minutes – but we did not have long to wait for the opener.
 
Moments later a slick attack saw Mesut Ozil find Hector Bellerin in space down the right flank, and the Spaniard slid it across goal for Ramsey to fire high into the roof of the net.

For all our delight at the goal, our lead was shortlived as CSKA came down the other end and won a free kick on the edge of the area after a foul by Laurent Koscielny. Aleksandr Golovin stepped up and curled a fine shot over the wall and beyond Petr Cech to equalise.
 
Ahmed Musa nearly gave the visitors the lead shortly afterwards, and the situation demanded a response – and how we responded.
 
Six minutes later we won a penalty – our third in two games – and Ozil was hauled down in the box – and Alexandre Lacazette made no mistake from the spot.
 
Not long afterwards Ramsey scored a goal that will live long in the Emirates Stadium annals as he raced into the box to meet a lofted Ozil pass and flicked it with the back of his foot up and over Igor Akinfeev to extend our advantage.

Aaron Ramsey scores his second against CSKA

 It was a jaw-dropping strike from the Welshman and the replays drew admiring gasps all around Emirates Stadium.
 
Things soon got even better as Lacazette scored his second of the evening, lashing the ball into the bottom corner after being picked out in the area, before Ozil went close to making it five just before the interval.
 
We started the second half as we ended the first, and Mkhitaryan came so close to adding to the scoreline but screwed his shot wide from close range.
 
Ramsey nearly had his hat-trick but saw a shot from 10 yards out deflected wide, while he went close again soon afterwards after Mkhitaryan had stung Akinfeev’s hands with a fierce drive.
 
It was Lacazette’s turn to go close to claiming his treble in the 67th minute after Iwobi’s cross-cum-shot found him at the back post, but he couldn’t get his effort on target from a tight angle.
 
We continued to press for a fifth, with Ozil testing Akinfeev before Ramsey hit the post with a curling effort from the edge of the area.
 
Danny Welbeck – on for Lacazette – was denied by the CSKA keeper from close range after being picked out by Ramsey in the closing stages, before the Wales international dragged a shot wide himself moments later.
 
The final whistle was greeted with a big roar from the home fans – this was quite a performance to rack up our fifth win on the bounce.

Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded and get the standout stats with our play-by-play commentary

WHAT IT MEANS

This victory means we travel to Moscow next week with a healthy advantage to protect in the second leg of this quarter-final clash.
 
The last time we travelled to CSKA Moscow, back in 2006, we lost 1-0 in the Russian capital. 

Arsenal v CSKA 2006

WHAT’S NEXT

We host Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Sunday as we return to Premier League action.
 
The Saints – who recently appointed Mark Hughes as manager – have not won against us in north London since November 1987, a run of 22 games. 


LACA WATCH

Alexandre Lacazette made his first start since January 30 – and was at the heart of the action at Emirates Stadium.
 
Here are his key moments from the game:
 
23 – Ozil dribbles into the box and is hauled down and we are awarded a penalty. Lacazette scores from the spot with a confident low finish
 
35 – Ozil pulls clear down the left-hand side and pulls it across goal to Lacazette in the box, who takes a touch and hits it left footed into the bottom corner to make it 4-1

67 – Lacazette comes so close to claiming his hat-trick after Iwobi’s shot comes to him at the far post, but his fires across goal from a tight angle
 
74 – Danny Welbeck comes on to replace Lacazette 

Interview

Bellerin - We reacted so well to CSKA's goal

When Aleksandr Golovin equalised for CSKA Moscow in the first half of our Europa League quarter-final first leg clash, the tie hung in the balance.

How would we respond? Irresistibly as it turns out, scoring three more unanswered goals to secure a 4-1 victory.
 
Hector Bellerin was delighted with how we played, and this is what he told Arsenal Media after the game:
 
on the first-half display...

It was really good. We gave away the free kick and they got the away goal and we knew that could complicate things, but we reacted to that goal and we are really happy with the score. We wish we could have kept a clean sheet but now we can go to Russia with a positive mindset and knowing that if we don't make any mistakes, we are in the next round.
 
on his assist for the opening goal...
I spoke to Aaron and he always tells me about 'cutbacks, cutbacks, cutbacks' and finally we got one. I am happy that what works in training, works in a game.
 
on taking a three-goal lead to Russia...
We are happy. we knew that Moscow had to go on the attack [in the second half] and we should have scored a few more goals I believe. In the second half we had loads of chances but we are lucky that it is 4-1 because if the score was a bit tighter then we would have regretted missing those chances. But with a three-goal lead going to Russia, we are happy.
 
on Ozil's outstanding performance...
Mesut is a player that is really hard to defend against for other teams and when he finds that space in the midfield, he outplays everyone there. We are very lucky to have him, of course.
 
on going to Moscow...
Every time you play away it is really hard. In the stands there is a lot of cheering against us, but we will go there with a  really positive mindset.

Press conference

What’s the latest on Micki and Ospina?

Arsene Wenger provided an fitness update on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and David Ospina following our 4-1 win against CSKA Moscow on Thursday.

This is what he told the media in his post-match press conference:
 
on the latest on Ospina...
The scan today was reassuring, he will be out for two to three weeks. Yesterday we were scared it was a very serious injury but the scan was reassuring. Yes [he did it in training] - he just moved back from a shot and sprained his ankle, without any contact. It was just a bad movement.
 
on Mkhitaryan...
He has a knee problem, we don't know how bad it is, we have to assess it tomorrow morning. He will certainly be out for Sunday.

Interview

Cech - We had the game under control

Petr Cech

Petr Cech was a happy man after we beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 on Thursday night.

The Arsenal goalkeeper didn't have much to do as we secured a fine win in our Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Afterwards he spoke to the media and this is what he said:

on the performance… 
It was a great performance. Obviously offensively we played and created so many chances and I think that we should have scored more goals. Especially in the second half we had a lot of chances and we could have scored more goals but the important thing was that at 4-1 at half time you don’t want to concede. You want to make sure that they don’t get back into the game and we did that very well and had the game under control. 

on CSKA Moscow’s first-half chances… 
Well, they even had some in the second half when they went to the counter attack, they were very dangerous. They have some very good players and obviously we were aware of that for the second half and we tried to limit them with chances. We tried to score more goals which we didn’t do in the second half but I think that we put ourselves in a very good position 

on whether it was a bigger result than they expected… 
Any win at home is very important, especially when you give yourself a three-goal advantage. At this point it’s a very good result but obviously we are only halfway and we need to make sure that when we go to Russia we are ready to compete again.

Press conference

'It was a spectacular first half at high pace'

Arsene Wenger was understandably happy after we beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 to take a big advantage into our second leg in Russia next week.

The Arsenal manager discussed the performance, how Mesut Ozil played and Aaron Ramsey's current form.
 
This is what he told the post-match press conference:
 
on a comfortable win…
It was a difficult game because they looked very good going forward and came out very quickly every time we lost the ball. They took advantage of every mistake we made to go forward. I felt that it was a spectacular first half played at a high pace, but also an uncomfortable one for me because they looked dangerous as well. I’d always hoped that we could score, but I was also worried that they could score as well. We played against a side who was technically very good, but we had scored some great goals in the first half and at half-time we were 4-1 up. Then the target was not to concede any more and, if possible, add another one. We did the first part of the job in the second half but not the second part of the job. On the other hand, it will help us to completely focus in the second game by not thinking it’s job done. We know it’s not over. We have to go there with the right focus and try to win the game.
 
on what he was thinking at 1-1…
That it’s unfortunate because it’s not what we wanted. I wanted to see how we responded to that. It was a good challenge, so it was good to see how we responded to it. I think we were in an uncomfortable position against Milan at home when they scored the first goal. Every time here, we found the answer in the game.
 
on Mesut Ozil…
Of course he enjoys it and I hope you enjoy it because we see a great football player. When you love football, that’s what you want to see.
 
on CSKA…
I think CSKA Moscow is a good team with a very good technical level, who are very quick going forward. Every time they won the ball, they gave us many problems in the first half. That’s all I can say. They have a very good technical level and are very mobile, very intelligent with their use of the ball as well. They played in a very offensive style. We are not used to seeing that at the Emirates in the Premier League. Teams come here, play in their half and wait for us. They had a go at us and it was uncomfortable.
 
on which players impressed for CSKA…
I think I’ve seen many good players in their side. Individually, I don’t want to give any names.
 
on whether he feels we’ve put our difficult period behind us…
We responded well. People forget that we lost three games in a week because the first game we lost was a final and it takes time to recover from that. The mentality is good in the side and that’s why we recovered. You’re always worried when you don’t win games that people expect you to win, but as I said many times there’s only one way to respond: with the quality of the performance on the pitch.
 
on whether we can win the Europa League...
We are in the quarter-final and it is a long way to go - we still have to finish the job. We are not qualified for the semi-finals, so it is too early to talk about that. we have suffered a lot recently, so that will help us to keep our feet on the ground and be humble and try to do our job well.
 
on Ramsey getting to his best level since 2013...
For Aaron it is always the same, if he can have a a consistent presence in the side without being stopped... I personally think he has overcome his problems, he has no injury problems at all anymore ore. When you can play game after game, you can see that he is involved a lot in the build up and also goes to the end of things. What has changed since 2013 is that he is a much better finisher nowadays, he is much calmer, he is composed. Before, he rushed a little bit his finishing.