Arsenal v Fenerbahce: Champions League play-off – as it happened

Aaron Ramsey scored twice as Arsenal cruised to a 5-0 aggregate win. Plus: Steve Bould's tiny shorts, talking mice and all the best pictures from the game

Right, that's it from me

Thanks for all your emails, especially the ones about shorts or mice, or mice in shorts. Stick around on site for all the reports and reaction, but from me, cheerio!

The Capital One Cup!

Liverpool have been pegged back to 2-2 by Notts County. That's heading into extra time. Elsewhere it looks to be an almost shock-free night because Sunderland have come from 2-0 down to lead MK Dons 3-2. But a third-tier team have knocked a Premier League side out – Bristol City have beaten Crystal Palace 2-1. Doesn't feel like much of a shock as they were in the same league last year.

Peep! Peep!! Peeeeeeep!!!

All over. 5-0 on aggregate. So it's a 16th successive year in the Champions League for Arsenal. Not a bad record, n'est-ce pas?


90+1 min: Miyaichi swings in a lovely low cross to find the onrushing Jenkinson, who connects with his laces. He thinks he's got a first senior goal but Demirel makes another excellent stop.

90 min: Ramsey heads to the bench, presumably because of a knock – Arsenal don't have any subs left but it isn't going to matter.

89 min: Wilshere looks to respond with a goal, but can only whump his shot from the edge of the area straight at the Fener keeper.

88 min: Fenerbahce have decided to kick Jack Wilshere out of the game, which is idiotic. He's been taken to the turf three times in the last five minutes or so with tackles so cynical they each have their own snarky Twitter account.


86 min: Wilshere is body-checked on the edge of the area. Cazorla pounds the free-kick into the wall.

84 min: "Was Steve Bould cautioned for his shorts?" wonders David Sette. "And does that carry over to the group stage?" I've finally found a picture I can use, so you can make your own minds up – a yellow card offence? They're certainly a thigh-high challenge of a sort …

82 min: Meireles comes in with a needlessly naughty challenge on Wilshere, who is left on the deck grimacing and holding his ankle. It doesn't look great, but he's soon up and looking to run it off.

81 min: Gokhan, who has been one of the Turkish team's better performers (although a little too attack-minded for a full-back) clips another dangerous cross in and Sagna does well to nod clear. He's played pretty well as a makeshift centre-half.

79 min: Meanwhile in Sunderland, Paolo Di Canio's side are 2-0 down to Milton Keynes.

78 min: Bruno Alves bangs another free-kick at goal. It's pipe-and-slippers comfortable for Szczesny.

76 min: "What happens to cautions issued in tonight's qualifying game come the group stages?" writes Michael Lang. "Does Ramsey's yellow follow him?" Yep, it follow him alright. Follows him like this:

75 min: Sanogo smacks an effort over the bar as Arsenal break. They could get a couple more here if they fancy it. Fener are beginning to fray around the edges.

74 min: Theo Walcott heads off to be replaced by Ryo Miyaichi.

GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Fenerbahce (Ramsey 73)

Ramsey's second! Arsenal lead 5-0 on aggregate. This is a lovely goal, wonderfully constructed down the Arsenal left, and finished off with aplomb by Ramsey. It was a low cross from Gibbs that the Welshman very neatly steered past Demirel with a first-time effort.


71 min: "Have you got a pic of Steve Bould's shorts?" writes Grant N. That email just sent me to the picture wires to check. Pictures are available but sadly we don't have the rights to them.

70 min: Ramsey goes into the book. For a reason indiscernible.

68 min: Meireles handballs near the left corner of his own penalty area. The curl and dip on Walcott's free-kick is so wicked it should live in a creepy house in Oz, but it rattles the bar.

67 min: Sanogo is bearing down on Walcott's dinked cross into the six-yard box but Demirel steps out and plucks the ball from his forehead like a bear cuffing some sort of delicious woodland fruit.

66 min: Kuyt off. Webo on. Cristian off. Potuk on.

64 min: Brilliant save from Demirel! Quite brilliant. Cazorla is all alone on inside the box and he zings his shot across goal. It looks for all the world like it's going to nestle into the far corner, but somehow the keeper gets down to tip it wide.

63 min: Ramsey finds Cazorla out on the Arsenal left, but his cutback can't find Wilshere.

62 min: Pass, pass, pass from Fenerbahce. Then the ball breaks loose to Sanogo. … then pass, pass, pass from Fenerbahce.

61 min: Monreal concedes possession all too easily inside his own half. Meireles zips it into Sow, who turns sharply but then wangs his shot well over the bar.

60 min: But going off is Giroud. Yaya Sanogo makes his home debut.

59 min: Fenerbahce were down to 10 for a while there – Bruno Alves has been receiving treatment off the pitch after being caught by Giroud's arm as the pair challenged for a header. He's back now.

58 min: Sow has looked a real handful all night. Another rangy, determined run gets snuffed out by the Arsenal backline.

56 min: "That clip of Smith and Jones actually made me ... OK, I'll stop there," writes Simon McMahon. "But I think we can all agree on one thing. Isn't it about time we had a short-wearing animated mouse reading the classified results on a Saturday?" I always knew that an email containing that sentence was going to land in my inbox one day. Today's the day.

55 min: Emenike attempts one of the worst dives you're ever likely to see, crumbling to the turf before Szczesny arrives for the sliding challenge, a sliding challenge that he pulls out of anyway. He gets a booking for his trouble, despite his immediate, slightly embarrassed apologies.

54 min: This second half has been a little scruffier than the first. Well, the first was scruffy but in a charming, likable way, like some sort of tangle-haired Yorkshire terrier.

52 min: Kuyt miscues horribly inside the Arsenal half as the Gunners clear a corner. It almost puts Giroud away but his control is much too loose and a Fener foot ends the attack.

51 min: Cazorla looks to play another one of those inside-out reverse passes across the box. The idea is brilliant, the execution less so.

50 min: Wilshere looks to dink the ball into Gibbs, who seems to be a like-for-like swap for Podolski in that attacking midfield role, but Gokhan muscles him off the ball. A few half-hearted shouts for a penalty, but nothing doing.

49 min: Kieran Gibbs replaces the German. And Arsenal botch another corner.

48 min: Stick a fork in Podolski – he's done. Looks like a hamstring twang rather than the full hamstring explosion, but it's still irritating enough for the Gunners.

47 min: Arsenal rather waste Podolski's efforts with a poor set piece. Fener clear. "Not to belabor the point, but the shorts issue seems to be getting lost amidst this animated mouse fascination," writes William Marzouk. "I want it understood that straight men can and should wear shorts - real shorts - as some of our early 80s TV heroes (at least in the US) can attest. High time the times were changed back. By the way, notice that Higgins (John Hillerman), the wackest guy in the vid, is wearing HUGE knee length khakis. We've lost our values, man. Time to get them back."

46 min: Podolski scampers to the byline down the left, then pulls up clutching at his hamstring. He's won a corner, but at what cost?

PEEP! Off we go again.

I've been asked to provide you with a few half-time scores in the Capital One Cup. So here are a few:

Barnsley 0-1 Southampton; Bristol City 0-0 Crystal Palace; Burton 0-1 Fulham; Leyton Orient 0-0 Hull City; Liverpool 2-0 Notts County; Norwich 2-0 Bury; Sunderland 0-1 MK Dons; West Ham 1-0 Cheltenham; West Brom 2-0 Newport Co.

Peep! Peeeeeep!!

And it's half-time. That was far more entertaining than we had the right to expect.

45 min: Chance! But Giroud fluffs his lines! Monreal gets behind the full-back on the Fener right and taps in a low cross. It's one of those awkward balls coming across his body, but Giroud should probably do a little better than scoop harmlessly over the bar.

44 min: Pass, pass, pass from Arsenal as we get a moment of calm in the maelstrom.

42 min: Have the teams simply forgotten the first leg happened? It's still 100mph stuff at the Emirates.

40 min: "That clip from Aliens actually made me laugh out loud," writes the increasingly easily pleased Simon McMahon. "I don't think we see enough of managers or players tearfully shouting 'Game over, man. GAME OVER' when 4-0 down. Sometimes you just gotta accept it."

39 min: Considering there's should be about as much tension in this game as you'd find in a tenet's guy ropes after the third day of the Reading festival, it's a cracker. Emenike turns Sagna beautifully on the left and looks to have scored the equaliser with a thumping shot to the near post. Somehow Szczesny makes a stunning save, turning the ball onto the woodwork.

38 min: The set-piece causes all manner of fuss and fury inside the box, thanks in part to Demirel's flap at the cross. A short sharp panic, but Arsenal can't force the ball home.

37 min: Cazorla twinkle-toes his way into the box and has defenders backpedding in terror. Bruno Alves times his tackle just right but concedes a corner.

35 min: … Bruno Alves is buily like a shirehorse and looks like he's going to hoof the thing at goal with vicious force, but instead he zaps a decent curling effort just wide of the top corner. 

34 min: They're threatening going forward are Arsenal, but Fener have come through their midfield time and time again far too easily. Mertesacker is forced to dive in on Sow as a result, picking up a booking and conceding a dangerous free-kick …

32 min: "On the subject of cartoon mice I remembered these two from a while ago," writes David Atkinson. "If you replace the word 'tonight' with 'this season' during the duo's epic catchphrase you get a fair approximation of Wenger and Gazidis. I'll leave it to the viewer as to which one is which."

31 min: … flicked on dangerously by Gokhan. Then dinked back in. Szczesny comes bowling out like Superman chasing a moth and leaves the ball entirely unmolested. Fener can't captalise and eventually the keeper wins himself a free-kick.

30 min: Monreal gets a toe to a Dirk Kuyt cross. Corner …

29 min: Walcott scampers through midfield and Egeman Korkmaz (who has Egemen on the back of his shirt but is referenced everywhere as Korkmaz) brings him down. He goes into the referee's Big Book of Very Bad Boys.

28 min: Aaron Ramsey. I just don't know. But Arsène Wenger is a much better judge of a player than I, and he clearly rates him so I doff my cap.

26 min: That's that, then.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Fenerbahce (Ramsey 25)

Podolski dinks the ball into Walcott but Korkmaz (I think) gets a foot in. His intervention only diverts the ball into Ramsey's path and from eight yards out he taps home.

24 min: Cazorla looks to reverse a pass inside the Fener right-back Gokhan with Monreal road-runnering his way through. Gokhan just gets back to cut the thing out.

23 min: Fener break from that free-kick and their attack ends with Sahin absolutely leathering a shot narrowly wide from 30 yards.

22 min: … clipped into the wall by Walcott, which is a pretty poor effort considering he was trying to dink it into the onrushing attackers.

21 min: Podolski turns smartly in midifled and begins barrelling through the centre of the park. Emenike bunts him down. Arsenal free-kick. Perhaps 40 yards out …

19 min: Bruno Alves is robbed by Giroud over on the Arsenal right. Good energy from the big striker. "That clip of Jerry mouse actually made me laugh out loud," writes Simon McMahon. "Given the almost constant diet of transfer window rumour and intrigue these days, I don't think we see nearly enough evil or maniacal laughing from players or managers, in the proper pinky to lips Dr Evil style."

18 min: Chance for Giroud! Curled wide by Giroud! It wasn't much of a chance really – he let fly from the edge of the box but it was probably more in hope than expectation,

17 min: Moussa Sow is providing some commentary fun. It's pronounced "So", which means "Sow stopped by Cazorla there" sounds like something a teenage American girl would say.

15 min: It's all a bit too frenetic for Arsenal's liking so far.

14 min: Theo Walcott shimmies and shakes his way through the Fener backline and spanks a shot at goal from the edge of the box, but it's straight at Demirel.

12 min: A right old scramble this. Jenkinson loses possession and Fenerbahce simply wander through the middle of the Arsenal defence. Emenike delays his shot a little too long, but the ball bobbles loose and then starts the wild swinging of boots. In the muddle Szczesny actually ended up making a very good save as Sagna smites a clearance against Meireles and sees the ball bobble back towards goal.

10 min: The life and times of Steve Bould's shorts. "Well done Steve Bould," cheers William Marzouk. "Shorts are supposed to be short. Like they were in the 70s. The greatest decade of the 20th century. Shorts that come down to the knees are daft. The longer they are, the dafter. See capri shorts, which are the daftest of all, although perhaps Raul Meireles could get away with it because he looks like an extra from a pirate movie." Although I could picture Meireles in very tiny hipsterish pair of shorts. You know, if I wanted to.

9 min: Walcott and Giroud are close to combining to put the Frenchman through the middle. Then Fener break. It's pretty end-to-end at the moment.

8 min: Emenike skips away down the right and drags the ball back for Sow, who pops the ball into the box. An Arsenal head climbs highest to clear.

7 min: "Well Freiburg isn't bathed in sunlight and it certainly isn't warm either," writes David Hindle. "It's been apocalypse-dark here since 6pm, except for large flashes of lightning, even though sundown is actually twohours later. However, you might want to mention the boys from Breisgau, who semi-stunned Bundesliga behemoth, Bayern München, under the at times torrential rain (I wasn't there, but live close by), with an 85th minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw. Guardiola out? You mark my words ..... far more entertaining speculation than the bloody transfer window anyway."

5 min: Whispers! Rumours! Apparently, apparently, Juan Mata's dad is in the Arsenal director's box. It's a rumour. It's a whisper. And for some reason it makes me want to laugh like this:

4 min: Cazorla and Monreal combine neatly on the left. Then it all rather unravels and Moussa Sow forces the later to fumble the ball out for a Fener throw-in.

3 min: Walcott is a touch sloppy in possession in midfield, but Fenerbahce can't capitalise and Arsenal build again from the back.

2 min: Mertesacker nods it behind for another. The second eventually drops to Meireles on the edge of the box, but his shot hits a body on the way through and bounces sedately into the hands of Szczesny.

1 min: Fenerbahce pump the ball forward and win an early corner …

PEEP! Off we go then. On the Arsenal bench Steve Bould has a pair of very short shorts on. And the camera picks the worst possible angle for them.



The teams are in the tunnel …

Both teams in their recognised home kits. Which is nice.

London is bathed in sunlight

It's fantastic evening. Take a lightweight jacket with you, but just in case. It's the sort of night at the football that will feel a distant, alien world in a couple of months time when you can't feel your toes.

The teams are in

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Monreal, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud, Podolski. Subs: Fabianski, Koscielny, Rosicky, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gibbs, Miyaichi.
Fenerbahce: Demirel, Gonul, Bruno Alves, Korkmaz, Erkin, Sahin, Baroni, Meireles, Kuyt, Emenike, Sow. Subs: Gunok, Ali Kaldirim, Irtegun, Webo, Potuk, Topuz, Ucan.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

So Jack Wilshere returns to the starting line-up, while Nacho Monreal replaces Kieran Gibbs at left-back.

Fenerbahce have made six changes from the first leg, with Emenike, Cristian, Korkmaz, Gonul, Sahin and Erkin coming into the side.



There's always danger in a job half done.

You buy the mother's day card. You write it. You put the address on the envelope. You find a stamp. You feel good. You've done the hard part. You leave it on the bookcase and have to make that apologetic Sunday phonecall.

You fill the sink with hot soapy bubbles. You scrape the plates. You put the plates in the sink. You leave them to soak. You feel good. You've done the hard part. You come back 24 hours later when you've run out of spoons and have to start the whole rigmarole all over again.

You stick a load of clothes in the washing machine. You insert the washing powder. You select a letter at random and hope your clothes don't shrink. You feel good. You've done the hard part. Two days later you remember that you put some clothes in the washing machine the other day. They do not smell clean or fresh anymore. You insert the washing powder. You select a letter at random and hope your clothes don't shrink. You feel good. You've done the hard part. Two days later you remember that you put some clothes in the washing machine the other day. They do not smell clean or fresh anymore. You insert the washing powder …

Arsenal have clearly had their fair share of disappointed mothers, stagnant water and stinky undergarments. All the pre-match talk has been of "finishing the job" after their 3-0 win at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium. "We want to finish the job. We have a decent advantage, but we want to get over the line," roared Arsene Wenger. "It's vitally important we go out there and finish the job," growled Carl Jenkinson. "The tie is not over yet. Now we have to finish the job," repeated Thomas Vermaelen.

Yes. Arsenal want, and need, to finish the job. And they should. Fenerbahce have some talented individuals but it really didn't happen for them as a team in the first leg – they were soundly beaten. Some bookies have the Turkish side as long as 100-1 to qualify for the group stages, and those odds don't feel all that generous.


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