Arsenal booked their place in the Champions League with a comfortable 4-0 win over FC Twente. Goals from Samir Nasri, William Gallas, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner completed a 6-0 aggregate success for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger started Cesc Fabregas alongside Denilson in midfield for his first game of the season and was involved in most off Arsenal’s early attacks. The Spaniard showed the balance, composure, drive and creativity Arsenal lacked in recent weeks.
Samir Nasri opened the scoring after good work from Van Persie to retrieve a Walcott cross which went behind him. Nasri dummied three men in one go before scuffing a deflected left-footed shot into the net. In truth it was a lacklustre FC Twente side who although had the majority of the possesion could not create any real chances on goal.
Three goals came in the second half, Gallas tapping in an empty net after a Bendtner shot had been saved. Walcott then produced the moment of the game, playing a fortuitous one-two with Bendtner before placing a Henry-type goal into the bottom corner. Bendtner wrapped things up in a flowing move by Arsenal, Denilson backheeling to the Dane to finish off.
It was a better performance from the Gunners especially at the start with Fabregas dictating things but after the first goal Arsenal took their foot off the gas, Van Persie missing a near open goal as FC Twente made countless mistakes.
Arsenal were more clinical and more creative than previous games but the fans were left wondering the Gunners could have offered so much more than the 6-0 aggregate scoreline such was the quality of their opponents. Even if Arsenal took their foot of the gas, the former Arsenal teams under Wenger would never allow the opposition 60% of the possesion.
There was definite room for improvement from Arsenal and you can be sure in a high intensity game Arsenal will improve. Arsenal still did not look balanced for most of the game and the fluid passing football seemed to have been replaced temporarily by the counter-attack. Denilson often was positionally in the wrong place but attacking-wise he was a threat.
The Brazilian did show willingless to want to win the ball back and improve on his defensive game. Van Persie looked woefully out of touch and it looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Bendtner. The latter did improve in the second half but it was Walcott’s improved performance and the return of Fabregas that really lit up the fans.
Arsenal: Almunia (6), Sagna (6), Gallas (8), Djourou (7), Clichy (6), Walcott (8), Fabregas (8) (Song (6)), Denilson (7), Nasri (7), (Eboue (6)), Van Persie (5) (Adebayor (6)), Bendtner (7).
FC Twente: Mihailov, Wielaert, Tiote, Franco, Braafheid, Denneboom, Heubach, Brama, Janssen, Elia, Huysegems.
Star Man: Theo Walcott- A better performance from the England striker and was unselfish as he could have scored three when he chose to pass instead of scoring. Pace was a problem and is a lethal weapon for the Gunners if he can learn how to use it better.
Performance rating: 3/5– Still yet to see the fluid passing football Arsenal are renowned for and giving 60% possesion to a poor opposition even if the game was all over is unheard of in this part of North London.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Twente Enschede|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||0|
|4||Shots off Target||5|