Istanbul: Turkish Fenerbahce were crushed 0-3 by visiting Arsenal in the early hours of Thursday here in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs.
The Gunners with second-half goals from Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud on penalty buried Turkish hopes on returning to the European football elite after a very successful Europa League run last year, reports Xinhua.
The breakthrough after a dull opening half arrived in the 51st minute when Ramsey played in Walcott down the right wing and the winger's cross was allowed to reach Gibbs, who crashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Ramsey then scored a fortunate second goal with 24 minutes left when Fenerbahce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who was the team's saviour during the preliminary round games against Red Bull Salzburg, inexplicably allowed a routine shot from outside the box slip under his hands.
Giroud then planted a confident penalty in the top left hand corner after Michal Kadlec brought down Walcott in the 77th minute that has virtually put the tie beyond doubt.
The second leg is set for Aug 27 at the Emirates Stadium.