Report: Portsmouth 1-4 Arsenal
Arsenal have ended 2009 in style.
It was a year that began with a 3-1 victory over Plymouth and thanks to goals from Eduardo, Nasri, Ramsey and Song, Wenger’s men ended it with a 4-1 win over Portsmouth today.
That cruising display meant the Gunners are back to within four points of the league leaders with a game in hand to play against Bolton in a week’s time.
And if the Premier League was decided by the end of the calendar year, Arsenal might have paraded a trophy today.
Wenger’s men scored a staggering 86 goals throughout 2009, more than any other club in England and also suffered the fewest defeats – only five.
It took Arsenal just 28 minutes to take the lead at Fratton Park, but through a slice of good fortune if anything.
Eduardo’s free-kick took a huge deflection off Younes Kaboul before beating Hermann Hreidarsson and goalkeeper Begovic into the net.
The Gunners had been at full gear and virtually gathered the three points by half-time as Eduardo then forced another goal.
The Croatian found much time and space in Portsmouth’s area and carefully picked out Samir Nasri who drilled a low shot home to make it 2-0.
Arsenal continued to stroll after the restart and Ramsey took advantage to show his brilliance.
With almost half an hour left, the young Welshman weaved his way through defenders and fired a stunning strike with his weaker foot to make it 3-0.
The Gunners’ concentration at the back was not as convincing though and the hosts were given false hope five minutes later as Belhadj made the most of Arsenal’s defensive flaws to cap off a fine move by Pompey.
3-1 it was with Fratton Park loud again, but there was still time for Arsenal to restore full pride.
And after breaking down Avram Grant’s side in the final third, Nasri found Song with a cross and the Cameroonian secured his first league goal of the season before heading off to duty at the African Cup of Nations.