Arsenal announced its arrival back on the European stage with a bang. Thumping six goals past the debutants of Champions League, Braga, in the process. It was thought that the side from Portugal would show some resistance, but from start to finish it was a one sided match. And no matter what the opposition, Arsenal did display football at its best; one that would make you just want to sit back and watch without it ending. Credit goes to Arsenal for taking the opposition out of the equation because whatever the opposition you have to beat them. And if it’s done in style the better it is.
Coming to the match, Fabregas has returned to his best. Last night he was at the heart of everything again. He controlled the midfield and harassed the Braga defence with ease. He scored a couple of goals and could have had his hat-trick and created other three. He was also very unselfish and led the team like a leader. Especially on the last goal when he passed the ball to vela to score, which he would have very easily put into the back of the net. Man of the match for me.
Wilshere was also superb and he really has come of age. He linked up brilliantly with Fabregas and was all over the field. His passing has improved a lot and he really is working hard. The way he back heeled for Chamakh to score was just brilliant which shows that he is quick in his thinking and he has the vision to pick a pass. And with full 90 minutes on the field, his passing completion ratio was the best among the team.
Chamakh again dazzled with his performance. His work rate is awesome. The way he moves up field, to the sides, drops down into midfield, links with midfield, his touch, his passing, the way he creates space for others to exploit, the way he defends and all of this at a mesmerizing pace. The way he took his goal shows that he can also score from his feet and we all know he can score from his head, giving the second option to Arsenal. He really is a good signing and I am looking forward to great things from him. Wenger is right in saying that Chamakh is a midfielder and a striker.
Arshavin again delivered last night. He was a bit slow in the first half and misplaced a few passes and due to this some may argue that he is not performing the way he should. He did increase the level of his game as the match progressed and the stats show that, he scored one and assisted twice. He took his goal very nicely and the pass to Vela was just awesome. He also delivered an inch perfect cross for Fabregas to head in. Now what else do we want from a player?
There was nothing wrong in the defence last night but fairly they weren’t tested much. It was good to see that Koscielny was eliminating the threat before it emerged by closing the runs of the Braga players. Clichy had a moment of alarm when the ball was bouncing around the danger area but it was dealt with and he was good going forward. Sagna was quite for his liking. Almunia again showed his confidence in between the sticks, and all credit to him for not getting side footed after the summer transfer speculations. His distribution was good and he was catching the ball nicely.
Another good sign was that Nasri played the full ninety minutes after returning from injury and he did what was asked of him. Song was also brilliant in breaking up the play and linking up nicely with defence and offence. His did misplace a few passes but overall his contribution was quite good.
Among the substitutes, Vela was the one who showed his magic with the feat. This man really can finish and is evident from his three goals in two matches. Eboue and Denilson also kept the game to flow as it was and did what their job was. All in all a good team performance.
Now it is too early in the season to brag about our chances, but performances like these do help the confidence. We have shown the world time and time again that we can play the best football out there and as for the matter of trophies, they will come with time and patience. We have the quality and depth in our squad and the players have the belief. With a bit of luck we can deliver on the big stage and I am really looking forward to how this season shapes up.
Next up is Sunderland. Till then!
p.s. the pictures are from www.guardian.co.uk