Arsenal produced a scintillating first-half performance in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie as they ran out 4-1 winners over CSKA Moscow at the Emirates on Thursday.
Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette helped themselves to a first half brace each whilst Aleksandr Golovin had scored an excellent free kick to level for the Russian visitors.
The second leg will be played at the VEB Arena in Moscow next Thursday (12 April) with the Russians needing a near miracle if they are to reach the final four of this season’s competition.
Arsenal took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes with a side-foot finish before CSKA Moscow equalised. Once Alexandre Lacazette scored from the penalty spot midway through the first half there was no looking back for the Premier League side.
Ramsey scored his second five minutes later with a brilliant volleyed flick before Lacazette scored a second of his own after being picked out by Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker put in an excellent performance on the night.
Arsenal had been 4-1 up on 35 minutes and they came close to adding in the second half – Henrikh Mkhitaryan blazed over after Igor Akinfeev spilled the ball into his path, and Aaron Ramsey hit the post in the final quarter-of-an-hour.
It is now five successive victories in Europe for Arsene Wenger’s side who have their eyes on the trophy.
In the other Europa League results on Thursday, favourites Atletico Madrid were 2-0 winners at home to Sporting CP, whilst Lazio beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-2 and RB Leipzig made it victories for all four home sides in action with a 1-0 win over Marseille.