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Arsenal Secures 16th Straight Champions League Group Stage Berth

Arsenal Secures 16th Straight Champions League Group Stage Berth
Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, left, celebrates with teammate French striker Yaya Sanogo after scoring his second goal during the Champions League second leg football match at the Emirates Stadium, London on Aug. 27, 2013. Photographer: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal defeated Fenerbahce 2-0 to reach the group stage of soccer’s Champions League for the 16th consecutive season.

Aaron Ramsey scored both goals at the Emirates Stadium in north London last night to give Arsenal a 5-0 win over the two-match playoff.

“We’re pleased with how we’ve done over the tie,” Ramsey, who also scored in last week’s series opener, told ITV. “We’ve not conceded a goal over the two games, which is always good. We’ve got lots of quality in the team and we’re looking forward to showing that in the group stages.”

The Gunners will be joined in the main draw of Europe’s elite club competition by Austria Vienna, Schalke, Steaua Bucharest and Basel. The final five places in the 32-team group stage with be determined tonight. The 10 playoff winners join 22 automatic entrants in tomorrow’s group-stage draw in Monaco.

Austria Vienna progressed by a 4-3 total after a 3-2 home loss to Dinamo Zagreb and Schalke, playing with 10 men, beat PAOK 3-2 to complete a 4-3 win.

Steaua Bucharest advanced by scoring more away goals in its series with Legia Warsaw after last night’s 2-2 draw in Poland left the teams tied 3-3. Basel completed a 6-2 rout of Ludogorets with a 2-0 home win.

Arsenal remains perfect in 12 Champions League playoff matches, having won all six of its series by a 29-3 combined score.

Ramsey’s Double

Arsenal took a 3-0 lead from the first game in Turkey into last night’s match and Ramsey added to it in the 25th minute. Theo Walcott was tackled in the area and the ball fell to the Welshman, who fired a shot into the open net.

Ramsey struck again with 18 minutes remaining as he took a pass from Kieran Gibbs and sent his shot into the top corner beyond the reach of goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

Roman Kienast’s goal in the 82nd minute gave Austria Vienna the series win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Vienna took a 3-0 aggregate lead at home on Florian Mader’s fifth-minute score. Dinamo then got goals from Marcelo Brozovic, Junior Fernandes and Fatos Beciraj to go in front on the away-goals rule before Kienast struck with eight minutes left.

Goals from Nicolae Stanciu and Federico Piovaccari were enough to earn Steaua Bucharest the draw at Legia Warsaw and a spot in the group stage on away goals. Miroslav Radovic and Jakub Rzezniczak scored for Legia.

Adam Szalai’s second goal of the game in the final minute at PAOK clinched Schalke’s place in the group stage. Julian Draxler also scored for Schalke, which played the final 26 minutes with 10 men after Jermaine Jones received his second yellow card. Stefanos Athanasiadis and Kostas Katsouranis scored for PAOK.

Swiss champion Basel easily advanced with the home win over Ludogorets on goals from Fabian Frei and Philipp Degen.

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