Arsenal 4 CSKA Moscow 1
Ramsey 9, 28, Lacazette 23, pen 35 Golovin 15

Almost there. That will be the Arsenal thinking after they blitzed CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the first half at the Emirates stadium in their Europa League quarter final first leg. Two goals each from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette underlined the Gunners superiority over the Russian side, although there was a minor scare when Alexsandr Golovin delivered a pinpoint free kick to then make it 1-1 after 15 minutes. Mesut Özil was in superb form, and his run earned the penalty after being bundled over by Georgi Schennikov. Lacazette despatched the penalty to restore Arsenal’s lead. Ramsey had earlier given the Gunners the lead, and his second was an exquisite finish from Özil’s pass to make it 3-1. Out on the sidelines, Özil was again the instigator, cutting back for Lacazette to fire in his second and Arsenal’s fourth of the night. There looked to be more goals in the game, and although Ramsey had chances to compete his hat trick, CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev led a charmed life with either the finishing or the post preventing further damage to the Russian side.

Arsene Wenge watched on as his side turned on the first half style with scintillating results.

“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.”

CSKA levelled with a spectacular Golovin free kick and Wenger admitted that this was not part of the plan, even though his side stepped up a gear.

“That it’s unfortunate because it’s not what we wanted,” we’re his initia thoughts admitted Wenger.

“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.”

Özil was at his brilliant best with his all round game, passing and movement, and Ramsey too enjoyed his night with a memorable double, and his manager acknowledged the input of the the former Wales captain.

“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.”

Wenger and Arsenal will look for more of the same from this win when the two sides meet in their second leg in Moscow.