Arsenal demolish Galatasaray, Basel stun Liverpool

2014-10-01 23:22

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Arsenal ignited their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of a feeble Galatasaray side tonight, with Danny Welbeck grabbing a hat-trick in a largely one-sided Group D clash in north London.

Galatasaray had never won in nine previous visits to England, and once Welbeck had punished them twice in the first half-hour their resistance crumbled, with Alexis Sanchez ending the match as a contest with Arsenal's third goal before half-time.

Welbeck completed his hat-trick shortly after the break and the only blot on Arsenal's copybook was a needless red card for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who rashly brought down Burak Yilmaz, who tucked away the resulting spot kick.

After their opening-night loss to Borussia Dortmund, victory lifted Arsenal into second place behind the German club with three points. Galatasaray and Anderlecht have one point apiece.

Galatasaray's supporters showed plenty of passion at The Emirates, keeping up a cacophony of sound for most of the first half and launching numerous flares on to the pitch.

Their team, however, were harmless.

Meanwhile, Swiss champions FC Basel claimed another English Premier League scalp when they deservedly beat a sloppy Liverpool 1-0 with a Marco Streller goal in the Champions League.

The Basel captain turned the ball in from close range after goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved a goal-bound header seven minutes into the second half as the Swiss pulled off another European upset.

Basel, who bounced back from a 5-1 mauling by Real Madrid in their opening game, have previously beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in the Champions League in the last four seasons and knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the Europa League.

In other matches tonight, Karim Benzema came off the bench to score 13 minutes from time to give holders Real Madrid a patchy 2-1 win at resilient Ludogorets.

Borussia Dortmund beat Belgian champions Anderlecht 3-0 with substitute Adrian Ramos scoring twice.

Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, outclassed former European champions Benfica 3-1 to earn their first point.

Atletico Madrid reignited their campaign when Arda Turan struck 15 minutes from time to give last season's beaten finalists a 1-0 win at home to Juventus; while Markus Rosenberg's double sparked jubilant scenes at the Swedbank Stadium as Malmo beat Olympiakos Piraeus 2-0 in the first Champions League group stage match to be played on Swedish soil in 14 years.

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