Football: Ramsey thanks Cardiff fans after punishing former club

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey during their English Premier League soccer match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Nov 30, 2013. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey praised Cardiff City's supporters after they applauded the Welshman for not celebratin
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey during their English Premier League soccer match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Nov 30, 2013. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey praised Cardiff City's supporters after they applauded the Welshman for not celebrating as he scored two goals in the 3-0 win over the Bluebirds on Saturday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey praised Cardiff City's supporters after they applauded the Welshman for not celebrating as he scored two goals in the 3-0 win over the Bluebirds on Saturday.

Ramsey, who left boyhood club Cardiff for north London in 2008 for five million pounds (S$10.2 million), scored in each half as Arsenal went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The 22-year-old did not celebrate his first effort - a glancing header in the 29th minute - and in return the home fans applauded their former player.

"It was an exciting time for me and my family to come back here and play," Ramsey told the BBC.

"It was a great day and one I'm going to remember. I'm really pleased with the way the fans reacted.

"I've got a lot of respect for them. This is where I started off in my career and they realised I needed to make the next step. They were really respectful and I gave them my respect too by not celebrating.

"I hope I put on a performance for them. This is where I started my career and everything began, and hopefully they've seen the player they produced today."

Ramsey's goals on Saturday made it 13 in all competitions this season, a flurry that has marked him out as one of the players of the campaign and confirmed his progress following the double leg fracture he suffered against Stoke City in 2010.

"It's confidence," he said when asked what was underpinning his startling form.

"I rediscovered it halfway through last season and have taken into this one. Hopefully it can continue. Confidence is flowing through the whole team at the moment."