Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is no doubt Danny Welbeck will continue to go from strength to strength after the striker’s hat-trick in the Champions League win over Galatasaray, which was stopped during the first half when Turkish fans threw flares onto the pitch.
With England boss Roy Hodgson watching from the stands, Welbeck, the £16million deadline day signing from Manchester United, produced a clinical display to set up a 4-1 win which puts the Gunners back on course for qualification from Group D and marks Wenger’s 18th anniversary in style.
However, governing body UEFA will review the report of its match delegate before making any decision over whether to launch an investigation concerning the unsavoury scenes 20 minutes into the match which saw play halted after several flares were jettisoned from the away end.
Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and captain Wesley Sneijder helped restore calm as riot police surrounded the perimeter fences of the away section.
On the pitch, Welbeck’s cool finishes had put Arsenal 2-0 ahead, before Alexis Sanchez swept in a third. The 23-year-old England man then completed a first career hat-trick on 52 minutes.
Arsenal finished with 10 men after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was shown a red card for bringing down Burak Yilmaz, who rifled home from the spot.
Wenger has no doubts Welbeck can go on and take his game to another level, with Arsenal set to head to Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
“It is good that slowly he gains confidence and finishes well. Hopefully the hat-trick will help him gain confidence,” said Wenger.
“It is not just his finishing because he wants to help the team.
“His team play is good as well, his teamwork and work-rate.
“I believe that, technically, he is very sound, a good passer of the ball.
“Honestly, I knew he was quick but he can be electric when he starts – he has great pace.”
Arsenal were unrecognisable from the side beaten 2-0 away to Borussia Dortmund a fortnight ago as the Turks were torn apart by a rampant midfield which included both big-money signings Mesut Ozil and Sanchez.
“We had a good start and they were surprised by our pace, which was a problem for them,” said Wenger.
“But we lost control of the game when we went down to 10 men. As soon as we allowed Galatasaray to play, they became a dangerous team.”
Galatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli admitted their approach had proved costly.
“We should have played more aggressively. The Champions League is a big tournament and we should come ready,” the Italian said.
“It is important for us to understand where we made mistakes and where we can develop – it is up to us to correct it.”
The Metropolitan Police confirmed there had been six arrests as part of their operation for the match, ahead of which there were also some problems in the surrounding area near to the Tollington Arms on Hornsey Road.