Arsenal 5-0 Porto Highlights: a balanced side get it right on the night with a Nasri stunner

Bendtner 10, Bendtner 25, Nasri 63, Eboue 66, Bendtner (pen) 90+1

I’m still reeling from the fantastic performance Arsenal put in last night. Say what you want about Porto, winning 5-0 in the second round of the Champions League is some achievement -especially after being 2-1 down in humiliating fashion in the first leg.

Arshavin provided a lot of the key moments in the game, setting up three goals. Overall I think everyone put in a good performance, and gave a good account of the team.

Nasri was stunning in midfield, no-one could have conceived that it would be possible to beat three Porto players in the box and score from an almost unthinkable angle. That goal killed the game, but Bendtner also has been taking the headlines with his hat-trick, which everyone should have realised was coming – he gets into the right positions, as at Burnley – just this time he was putting them away.

Porto played an open game which really suited us as we had a lot of space in the final third – Arshavin, Bendtner, Nasri, Rosicky and later Eboue – all exploited this, especially as we scored the early goal to go ahead in the tie, forcing Porto forward.

Fucile had a torrid time on the right hand side of defence for the Portuguese, and in the centre they looked just as nervy.  Critics could accuse Porto of being tactically a little naive, as playing away in Europe often requires more of a steely approach in defence. They didn’t attack effectively, but they also left themselves exposed at the back.

Some of the football played last night was fantastic, and Eboue and Bendtner scoring made it even better. Nasri’s goal is a strong contender for goal of the season in the CL.

I felt that a stronger side could have hit us on the break, as the defence was a little shaky, but Vermaelen more than covered for Sol’s lack of pace. You could also claim that some of the refereeing decisions were dubious, but I don’t think anyone can really take the shine off such a wonderful performance.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this side has belief in itself now. Wenger has spent several years carefully assembling a team which can go further than Arsenal ever have before. The key now is being tactically astute when we come up against the bigger sides.

Wenger knows that there are tougher tests ahead, and I will be keen to see who is drawn against us in the Quarter-finals.

Critics of the Arsenal should remember that we have done this without our captain, best striker, and central defender, three players who would be sorely missed anywhere.

Highlights thanks to arsenalist.com

You can also see some lovely pictures from the match at Arsenal FC Blog.

The Sun also ran a joke of a headline – apologising to Bendtner – victory is sweet.

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6 thoughts on “Arsenal 5-0 Porto Highlights: a balanced side get it right on the night with a Nasri stunner

  1. shayne

    Let us not be fooled,Bendtner was awful again last night.He doesnt look like a footballer.He cannot control the ball to save his own life.Hes not good enough to lead the line for arsenal,especially when we play against the chelsea and man u of this world.His conversion rate is awful.

    1. You’re being way too harsh on Nicklas. He is a good player who has always put effort in when he plays for us, often in difficult situations, with little experience. He wouldn’t be at Arsenal if he wasn’t good enough and the fact that he scored a hat-trick in the last 16 of the world’s top competition should indicate that he has at least some skill.

      Please don’t be so personally negative. If he hasn’t made the cut in a year or two he will move on to a club more at his level. For now he has potential which is there to be realised. Statements like yours add nothing to the game, and only make football fans look stupid and impatient.

  2. wilco

    Mr Shayne, you are harsh on Bendtner, he is a good player , nobody could have scored against Stoke like he did, with him upfront we are stronger, he is tall, good in the air, his link up play is good, he holds the ball up well, he creates spaces for little guys like Arshavin , Rosicky… by mobilizing 2 defenders, and…to me the first quality of a striker is to be in good positions to score , and Bendtner is amazing at that, not many strikers find themselves well-positioned like him . Okay he misses some chances but that means he gets chances, he makes the right runs, the right moves to get there. And believe me Drogba wasn`t as good as Bendtner at 22 !!! Gerrard and Lampard were not in the national team at his age , (they are not strikers I know), but that tells you how good he is. Be patient you`ll see him getting better like Song, Diaby, Eboue, they will all develop and get better. Nasri, Walcott, Denilson ..they are all still young, they`ll learn from the best manager and will become great!
    There are many teams who would love to buy our players, (Milan wanted Flamini, Barcelona wanted Hleb and want Fabregas, Inter wanted Eboue, Real want Clichy), stop criticizing your own players, the rest of the footballing world know how good they are, but some Gooners don`t know about their quality !!!!

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