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Young guns have no fear - Wenger

Aaron Ramsey (left) and Emmanuel Eboue
Aaron Ramsey (left) celebrates with Emmanuel Eboue

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was proud of the way his young team played with "no fear" in the 5-2 Champions League win over Fenerbahce.

Arsenal's side had an average age of 22 in Istanbul and recorded their biggest away win in Europe in five years.

"We had a young team and I'm proud we came in and tried to dictate the game in a heated atmosphere," said Wenger.

Wenger also reserved praise for the "very promising" Aaron Ramsey, 17, who scored the Gunners' final goal.

The Wales midfielder replaced Abou Diaby on 73 minutes to end a memorable evening for the north London club, who are now top of Group G and need one more victory from three matches to qualify for the knockout stages.

"He is 17-and-a-half-years-old, he is a very young boy but very promising," said the Frenchman of Arsenal's summer signing from Cardiff City.

Our pace, movement and technique made the difference and allowed us to take advantage of it but it was not an easy game

Arsene Wenger
"His personality really comes out wherever he goes. He really wants the ball, he is not frightened."

Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring for Arsenal, with Theo Walcott doubling the lead before Fenerbahce got a goal back when Dani Guiza's volley was poked in for a Mikael Silvestre own goal.

But the impressive Diaby, who was making his first start since injuring a thigh in August, fired the visitors into a 3-1 lead and Alex Song volleyed the fourth.

Guiza grabbed a goal back for the home side before Ramsey's injury-time strike.

The margin of victory was particularly impressive because, although Fenerbahce are uncharacteristically lingering in 10th place in the Turkish Super League, Luis Aragones' men had not lost at home in Europe in 15 matches.

Wenger added: "Because the two teams were going forward it was a very open game and Fenerbahce are an attacking side and are very dangerous going forward.

"Both teams were going forward 100% but the fact we scored an early goal forced Fenerbahce to come out and we caught them many times on the counter-attack.

606: DEBATE
The Spirit of 66

"Our pace, movement and technique made the difference and allowed us to take advantage of it but it was not an easy game.

"It is very pleasing that they seemed to play with no fear. I am pleased to see it works.

"We came here and had a go. We started strong, we remained quite strong and we finished strong."

The Arsenal manager also hailed the performance of Diaby, who surged forward on numerous occasions from the five-man midfield to support lone striker Adebayor.

"He can do it," stated Wenger. "He can play nearly everywhere. From midfield going forward, he can play everywhere.

"He has been out for nearly three months now. It was his first start and he had a very good game."

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see also
Fenerbahce 2-5 Arsenal
21 Oct 08 |  Europe
Champions League as it happened
21 Oct 08 |  Europe
Champions League photos
21 Oct 08 |  Football
Arsenal Player Rater
13 Dec 06 |  Live Text
Arsenal 4-0 FC Porto
30 Sep 08 |  Europe
Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Arsenal
17 Sep 08 |  Europe


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