Report: Arsenal 5-0 Porto
Arsenal and Nicklas Bendtner had a day of days on Tuesday.
For the first time since their move to the Emirates, the Gunners overturned a first leg-deficit to progress in the champions league while Bendtner followed Saturday’s profligate performance with a hat trick in an emphatic 5-0 win over Porto.
For both parties, this was a staggering response to critics.
Arsenal’s Champions League dream would not end tonight and Nicklas Bendtner does know where the net is.
Injured Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, whose midfield playmaking role was filled superbly by Nasri, said in his programme notes he was hoping Bendtner had saved his goals for Porto.
After 10 minutes the Danish striker duly obliged when he slotted the ball into an empty net after keeper Helton had bravely denied Andrei Arshavin who had been released by Nasri.
Arshavin’s pace and trickery teed up Bendtner for his second on 25 minutes as Arsenal moved ahead on aggregate.
Porto enjoyed a brief spell of pressure early in the second half but after Falcao failed to convert their best chance of the night, normal service was resumed.
Two goals in four minutes just past the hour killed off the visitors. After 63 minutes Nasri ran at pace into the Porto area and dribbled past three defenders before planting a shot inside the far post.
Then Arshavin carved Porto open and his reverse pass allowed Eboue to skip around the despairing Helton and roll the ball into an unguarded net.
Bendtner completed his hat-trick with virtually the last kick of the game, firing a low penalty into the corner after Eboue was brought down.