Gunners stroll to success
Arsenal were in impressive attacking vigour to secure a 4-0 triumph over Porto in the Champions League.
Last Updated: 30/09/08 10:07pm
Arsenal were in impressive attacking vigour on Tuesday evening to secure a 4-0 triumph over Porto in their UEFA Champions League encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor both struck braces as Arsene Wenger's side responded from their weekend setback against Hull City to move top of Group G.
Holland international Van Persie opened the scoring with a finish from close range before Adebayor doubled the home team's advantage with a towering header.
Any chance of a Porto comeback was ended just three minutes into the second period when Van Persie stabbed home, and then Adebayor stepped up from the penalty spot to seal the triumph after Nicklas Bendtner was felled in the box.
The Gunners were heavily criticised after their Premier League loss to Hull, not least by manager Wenger himself, but the Frenchman resisted the temptation to axe some of his under-performing stars.
French winger Samir Nasri was the only new face, ending a month-long spell in the treatment room to replace Emmanuel Eboue - who was relegated to the bench.
Early on Arsenal threatened, breaking fluidly from their own half, short passing from Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Adebayor saw the ball worked across the area to Theo Walcott.
He was stationed on the right and had time to pick his shot, but a smart save from Da Silva Helton saw the effort palmed to safety.
The reactions of Helton saved Porto once again shortly afterwards when Van Persie attempted a long-range shot, but then it was Arsenal's turn to mop their brows.
Tomas Costa sped down the right wing and delivered a perfect cross to Cristian Rodriguez, whose diving header hit the ground before deflecting off the bar.
But the effort offered only temporary respite for Porto - who saw Van Persie, Walcott and Adebayor miss half-chances.
For all Arsenal's dominance of territory and possession, Porto's speed on the counter meant they could not afford any lapses in concentration.
Lisandro Lopez underlined the point by blasting a beautifully-struck curling shot at the top corner, but a diving Manuel Almunia reacted just in time.
Arsenal remained on top, however, and their perseverance was rewarded with a 30th-minute goal by Van Persie.
Adebayor and Van Persie combined expertly down the right of the area, creating space for the Togo marksman.
He looked up and delayed his pass to the Dutchman, who prodded the ball home.
The Gunners surged further ahead with five minutes of the half remaining when Adebayor leapt above Jorge Rolando to head Van Persie's corner towards the ground.
The ball bounced awkwardly for Helton and defender Nelson Benitez, who was stationed on the line - the duo could only watch on as it sailed over their heads.
The second half was just three minutes old when Arsenal added to the scoreline with a surprisingly easy third.
Walcott did the initial damage before the ball found its way to Van Persie, who showed strength to fend off Bruno Alves and stab home.
Porto's defence was crumbling, and Walcott should have made it four but missed a sitter from four yards out.
The England forward's pace was proving a constant threat as he marauded down the right wing at will.
Arsenal's fourth arrived when Bendtner, on for Van Persie, was brought down by a clumsy tackle from Freddy Guarin.
Adebayor stepped up and slotted the penalty home to complete an easy night for the Gunners.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||FC Porto|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|10||Shots on Target||4|
|10||Shots off Target||6|