Wenger lauds Ramsey goal in Arsenal thrashing of CSKA

Callum Chambers

Callum Chambers

Languishing in sixth in the Premier League, 13 points adrift of the top four, Arsenal's last realistic hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League is by winning the Europa League in Lyon on May 16.

Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey scored a first-half brace apiece, while Aleksandr Golovin struck a neat free kick on 15 minutes which had briefly levelled proceedings.

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Arsenal were rampant and a fourth arrived in the 35th minute, as Lacazette joined Ramsey in getting a second, finding the bottom-left corner with a smart finish after a well-placed cut-back from the enormous Ozil.

Igor Akinfeev, the CSKA captain, was the first goalkeeper to leave the new Emirates Stadium with a clean sheet back in 2006 and had the same three defenders - Sergei Ignashevich and the Berezutski twins Aleksei and Vasili - in front of him here.

Moscow equalised just six minutes later, Golovin curling home a ideal free kick after he was fouled by Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal got the slice of fortune they needed when Ozil was controversially awarded a penalty as he fell theatrically under Georgi Schennikov's challenge.

Lacazette marked his first start since January by scoring the resulting penalty before Ramsey increased the lead with a moment of brilliance - deftly lifting Ozil's perfectly-weighted pass over Akinfeev to put Arsenal in control of the tie.

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Koke put the 2012 winners ahead in the Spanish capital after just 22 seconds and Antoine Griezmann's 24th goal of the season put Diego Simeone's men on the brink of a fifth European semi-final in his seven seasons in charge.

The Gunners were leading 2-1 when the Wales midfielder, spotting Akinfeev off his line, lifted the ball over the CSKA keeper from Ozil's wonderful pass.

Ramsey's hopes of a hat-trick disappeared when his curling 77th-minute shot hit the post.

The Armenian was then forced off with an innocuous-looking injury just after the hour, with Alex Iwobi taking his place.

Ramsey almost had his hat trick in the 78th minute, only to strike the right post.

CSKA were wasteful all evening and had a goal chalked out for offside as Alan Dzagoev headed in after Cech blocked Pontus Wernbloom's shot.

Arsenal, who have won five successive games in all competitions, should have triumphed by a more handsome margin in what was a cracking match.

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