Good start was crucial for us – Walcott

Theo Walcott┬ásays a purposeful start laid the foundations for Arsenal’s 3-0 victory against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Wednesday night.

Ars├¿ne Wenger’s side controlled play for large periods but had to wait until the 51st minute for┬áKieran Gibbs┬áto give them the lead.

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Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud put the gloss on the win later in the second half and Walcott was glad that the team made their dominance count at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

It was a very disappointing result in the Premier League but we forgot about that. We concentrated on today – we knew the job we had to do

“The tempo of the game was the key,” he said. “Straight away, we got [at them]. We wanted to quieten the fans and we did that, even though it was 0-0 at half-time.

“Before that we dominated the game. They didn’t have any shots on target in the first half. We just had to dig deep, tire them down and I think you could tell in the end that we were deserved winners.

“It was a very disappointing result in the Premier League but we forgot about that. We concentrated on today – we knew the job we had to do.

“We kept a clean sheet and got those three crucial goals that I think were well deserved in the end.

“It’s nice to take them back to the Emirates [in control of the tie] but we can’t be complacent. We have to be professional, which we will be.”

Walcott set up the opener and was fouled for the penalty which led to Arsenal’s third goal, and the forward was happy to play an important role in the victory.

“It’s nice to get assists,” he added. “The next thing will be to get a couple of goals now but it was more about the team and the performance tonight.

“To keep a clean sheet was important and to get three goals [at a difficult place], the guys can be proud of themselves.”