Arsenal cruises past Fenerbahce in CL qualifiers
London, England (Sports Network) - Arsenal punched its ticket to the Champions League group stage with relative ease on Tuesday, earning a 2-0 defeat of Fenerbahce to advance by a 5-0 aggregate score.
The Gunners claimed a 3-0 victory in Turkey last Wednesday to put one foot in the group stage, and Tuesday's result officially sealed their place to the round of 32 for a 16th straight season.
Aaron Ramsey played a starring role in the second leg as he opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he slammed home a loose ball for an easy finish.
The Welsh international completed his brace on the other side of halftime, turning in a cross from Theo Walcott in the 72nd minute to add insult to injury for the Turkish club.
Arsenal's win came at a price, though, as striker Lukas Podolski limped off the pitch five minutes into the second half with a hamstring injury, putting his status for Sunday's London derby against Tottenham in jeopardy.
Austria Vienna will join Arsenal in the Champions League group stage despite falling to Dinamo Zagreb in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday as a 2-0 victory in the opening leg was enough to see the Swiss side advance behind a 4-3 aggregate score.
Schalke narrowly advanced as well as the Bundesliga side needed a 3-2 victory at PAOK on Tuesday to make up for a 1-1 draw in the opening leg.
Also securing places in the group stage on Tuesday were FC Basel, which advanced ahead of Ludogorets behind an aggregate score of 6-2, and Steaua Bucurest, which escaped its 3-3 aggregate tie against Legia Warsaw on away goals.
Champions League qualifiers continue Wednesday with Zenit St. Petersburg hosting Pacos Ferreira, PSV Eindhoven heading to the San Siro to take on AC Milan, Celtic welcoming Shakhter Karagandy to Parkhead, Plzen facing Maribor in Slovenia and Real Sociedad hosting Lyon at the Anoeta.
08/27 17:17:59 ET