By Randy Osae
Arsenal made easy retaliation to Saturday’s critics with a marvelous win over FC Porto on Tuesday night. Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie took compliments in attack with braces, just like they were responsible for blushes at the weekend.
Emmanuel Eboue was the only one to be demoted to the bench after the Hull embarrassment and a newly fit Samir Nasri was his direct replacement on the left wing.
As usual, Arsenal were the bright starters early on. Theo Walcott benefited from Adebayor, Fabregas and Van Persie’s combined slick move. But the English teen’s finish was saved by Helton.Moments later, Van Persie made an impressive try from long-range, and suffered a similar fate as Walcott.
Porto did make their say through Cristian Rodriguez. The forward dove to head Costa’s cross but the woodwork denied the visitors a shock lead.
The Gunners were still bossing though, and attacking trio Van Persie, Adebayor and Walcott had chances which were enough for an opener on another day. Just like against Hull, Arsenal’s unsuccessful forward moves were quickly punished by Porto’s advantageous counter attacks. Sometimes, Toure and Gallas were alerted.
Lisandro Lopez pretended to be the one to punish Arsenal’s lack of a fatal blow when he curled a dangerous ball to the top corner of the goal, but Almunia was on time.
But at the half-hour mark, Adebayor and Van Persie made sure they wouldn’t go back to the dressing room ruing first half chances. The pair combined well on the right and the Togolese unselfishly cut the ball back to his Dutch mate, who from close-range, lashed onto it well to give Arsenal a significant lead.
And with five minutes left in the half, Adebayor jumped higher over Jorge Rolando to vigorously head home Van Persie’s corner. Porto’s stopper Helton and defender Nelson Benitez were on guard at goal, but Adebayor’s header, fooled them into the net.
The second half began with a dispirited Porto side who were not energetic to play any more. So it was no surprise when Van Persie penetrated their defence and easily drove the ball pass Helton for a killer third. Walcott who was involved in that goal should have got one for himself when left free from four yards out, but he awkwardly missed.
He had been the catalyst of Arsenal’s attack all night and earned a rest when Vela replaced him with 20 minutes to go. Before that change, Nasri and Van Persie had paved way for Eboue and Bendtner.
Shortly afterwards, Freddy Guarin was sighted by the referee to have tripped Nicklas Bendnter and as usual, Adebayor expertly stroke from the spot to wrap-up a resounding 4-0 victory and clean off impurities of Saturday’s disgrace.