Cyprus Mail
Champions League Sport

Arsenal demolish Galatasaray, Liverpool stunned by Basel

Danny Welbeck scored his first career hat-trick as Arsenal gunned down Turkish side Galatasaray

By Martyn Herman and Brian Homewood

Arsenal ignited their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of a feeble Galatasaray side on Wednesday 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.

Elsewhere, 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 on Wednesday.

The Basel captain turned the ball in from close range after goalkeeper Simon Mignolets aved 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.

Liverpool, who began Group B with a home win over Ludogorets Razgrad, gave Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik very little to do and Raheem Sterling fluffed their best chance in the 75th minute when Adam Lallana sent him clear but he hesitated too long and was dispossessed.

Group A
Atletico Madrid 1 Juventus 0
Malmo 2 Olympiakos Piraeus 0

Group B
Basel 1 Liverpool 0
Ludogorets 1 Real Madrid 2

Group C
Bayer Leverkusen 3 Benfica 1
Zenit St Petersburg 0 Monaco 0

Group D
Anderlecht 0 Borussia Dortmund 3
Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1

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