Arsenal, irresistible in attack not so much when defending. The Gunners cut open the Fenerbahce defence with ease, their movement and speed on the counter too good. While in the other end a lack of pressure and a high line looked to try and lose the game for the Gunners. Manuel Almunia made countless saves and without the skippers contribution the score could easily have been 5-5. Had Guiza’s ‘goal’ not been rightly ruled out for offside the score would have 3-2 and Arsenal would have had a game on their hands. (Tactical Analysis of the match will be provided later today.)
Manuel Almunia (9)*: The skipper led by example and produced some great saves to keep Arsenal in the game. His anticipation and command of the penalty area was superb.
Emmanuel Eboue (7): Wasn’t caused as much problems in defence as may have thought but did well, also clearing a shot off the line. Strong in attack too and communicated well with Walcott to ensure he tracked Carlos.
Alex Song (6): Scored a great goal for the fourth but was shaky in defence. The high line played required great positional and anticipation which was lacking and could have done better for Fenerbahce’s second.
Mikael Silvestre (5): The Frenchman played a bad game. Was nervous but was caught too high up the pitch at times and scored an own goal. A night to forget but is coming back to fitness after a long time out.
Gael Clichy (7): Started the game brilliantly setting the tone for the match with some strong tackles and bursts forwards. His impact as an attacking force lessened but was ever reliable when defending.
Theo Walcott (8): His pace scared the Fenerbahce defense from the first moment and had Carlos penned back. Great composure for his goal.
Denilson (6): In the team to shield the defense and link up, allowing the attacking players to play. On that front he tried very hard and tried to put in some tackles though at times he was not strong enough. Exposed by the attacking nature of the Arsenal side but was more comfortable wehn breaking forward.
Cesc Fabregas (8): Was the catylyst in for the Arsenal attack, involved in all the goals. Blotched the copy book by not pressuring enough in midfield but his passing was top class.
Samir Nasri (6): Showed some nice touches but didn’t threaten enough. Should have scored but is gaining confidence as shown by his great balance and shielding ability.
Abou Diaby (8): Played just behind the striker and was a constant danger with his strength and dribbling which got the third goal. Touch was sometimes lacking as was his distribution. Could have helped out in defence a bit more also.
Emmanuel Adebayor (7): Took his goal well after nearly losing it. Started well and worked hard but made less impact later. Maybe played a bit too high at times looking for the through or long pass.
Ramsey (7): (On for Diaby 73) Always wanted the ball and brimming with confidence. Good finish to boot.
Djourou (6): (On for Walcott 84) Added a bit of defensive cover when came on and broke forward well.
Vela (5): (On for Adebayor 86) Not enough time to make enough impact
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Van Persie, Bendtner, Gibbs. Booked: Song, Diaby.
Goals: Adebayor 10, Walcott 11, Diaby 21, Song 49, Ramsey 90. Assists: Fabregas (2), Eboue, Silvestre, Adebayor
Fenerbahce: Demirel (5), Gonul (6) (Yilmaz 80 (6)), Edu Dracena (5), Lugano (5), Roberto Carlos (5), Maldonado (4) (Bilgin 52 (5)), Alex (6), Sahin (6), Boral (4), Semih Senturk (5), Guiza (7)
Subs Not Used: Babacan, Josico, Gursoy, Parlak, Cakmak
Booked: Sahin, Lugano, Senturk
Goals: Silvestre 19 og, Guiza 78
Ref: Peter Frojdfeldt (7) (Sweden)