Eduardo da Silva marked his return from injury by scoring two goals, nodding home Carlos Vela’s cross for his first before converting a self won penalty but the Croatian displayed fine link up play and movement which Arsenal have sorely missed this season.
Arsenal 4-0 Cardiff City
The script was written for the Eduardo but in all the excitement and anticipation even he failed to read the whole thing; he missed a decent chance for his hat-trick right before he was subbed in what would have been a dream ending. Indeed he even tried to create his own Hollywood moment with an ambitious effort from the halfway line but it sailed harmlessly wide.
Eduardo got his first goal on the 20th minute poking the ball to Vela before the Mexican chipped the ball back the Croatian to head home. And his second showed that mentally, as well physically he his ready. A scramble in the box fell to Eduardo who was clumsily brought down by Rae and the naturilised Brazilian dusted himself off to convert the penalty. Sandwiched in between was a header from Bendtner while Van Persie wrapped things up with a shot through the excellent Heaton’s legs to ensure that for all the time he has been on the pitch, he has been involved in all the goals.
Arsenal were back to the fluent best, playing the best they have played for quite a while. Eduardo was inspirational not just in his goalscoring; his link up play was superb while his movement with the other three attacking players seemed like Arsenal were playing a 4-2-4. In fact Vela and Bendtner didn’t have to track back much such was Arsenal’s dominance in the first half and which also denied the Cardiff full backs the chance to get forward.
There was great fluidity and interchangeability between the forward players while Song and Denilson, who was more demanding of the ball were the defensive shield that allowed the front men to play. Nicklas Bendtner who missed an open goal and then the follow brilliantly saved by Heaton had a good game; the Dane feeds off confidence but the miss didn’t affect him too much, causing a nuisance to the Cardiff defence and created a good chance for Van Persie at the end. Even Sagna got forward like his usual self and played some very good crosses. Bischoff showed glimpses of his talent while Van Persie started where he let off.
It has been a long time coming for Arsenal; an entertaining Emirates game in a so far inconsistent season. Burnley are next and hopefully the spark for greater things.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Gibbs, Nasri (Ramsey 67), Denilson, Song Billong, Vela (Bischoff 74), Eduardo (Van Persie 67), Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Wilshere, Clichy
Booked: Gallas, Bendtner.
Goals: Eduardo 20, Bendtner 34, Eduardo 60 pen, Van Persie 89.
Cardiff: Heaton, McNaughton, Purse (Blake 68), Roger Johnson, Kennedy, Burke, Rae (Scimeca 74), Ledley, Parry (Whittingham 68), Bothroyd, McCormack.
Subs Not Used: Sak, Capaldi, Eddie Johnson, Comminges.
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Cardiff City|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|15||Shots on Target||1|
|7||Shots off Target||1|