According to Eduardo, it was the best day was his life. Over a year out of football with people doubting that he might ever be able to play again.. But the Croat’s amazing attitude has helped him return, return in style. He had earlier this week made his return for Croatia with an assist for the winner and now it was time for him to return for Arsenal. Wenger surprised a lot of people, including me, by handing Eduardo a start.
Arsenal started the match the better side and ended the better side. It was complete domination and never in the whole match did Cardiff look dangerous. Arsenal nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute. Vela’s shot was saved by Heaton and it dropped to Bendtner whose shot was again saved by the keeper resulting in a corner. From the corner Gallas had a header once again brilliantly saved by the Heaton. Soon after the triple save, Heaton was spotted off his line by Eduardo who tried a chip over the keeper but it went wide. It was all Arsenal and it would only be a matter of minutes before Eduardo would break the deadlock. The Croatian made Vela make a run down the left flank with his through ball and himslef continued his run into the box. Vela quickly released an inch perfect cross to Eduardo who powerfully headed the ball into the goal, out of Heaton’s reach. Bendtner was looking surprisingly dangerous on a relatively warm night in North London and he too got on the score sheet. Made a run to get away from his marker to meet Nasri’s corner and head it into the bottom corner. At 2-0 the game was over but Arsenal’s job was not done yet. A delightful ball in by Nasri to Vela, who showed brilliant close control, turned and had a shot with his left foot but yet again saved by Heaton. But this time too it dropped to Bendtner who with the emptly goal right in front of him hit the post. The ball came back to him but it had allowed Heaton to get back up and produced another world class save to deny Bendtner’s second shot. The domination continued and Arsenal looked like scoring any minute. The 3rd came when Eduardo was tripped inside the box and a penalty was given. The confident Eduardo straight away got ready to take the penalty himself and made no mistake. The Croat soon had a chance to complete his hat trick but once again it was Heaton to the rescue. The domination continued with substitute Bischoff nearly getting his first goal for Arsenal. In the end the icing on the cake was provided by a simple finsih on a one on one by van Persie after he was sent through by a through ball by Bendtner. It ended 4-0 but it could easily have been 6 or 7.
Fabianski – 7 – For doing almost nothing all match! Well he did make one save and whenever he had to do something he looked quite decent.
Sagna – 7.5 – Didn’t put a foot wrong all match. Created a fair few number of chances going forward with his crosses.
Toure – 6.5 – Hardly had anything to do.
Gallas – 7 – He too didn’t had anything to do but had a decent effort on goal with his first half header.
Gibbs – 7 – Nice performance as he kept Burke quiet all match. Good job. But did not make many forward runs that we are used to of Clichy.
Nasri – 7.5 – Brilliant performance. Got an assist and was involved in nearly every single attack.
Denilson – 6.5 – Played really well with a couple of defence piercing through balls. But he gave away the ball on quite a lot of occasions.
Song – 7 – His best performance in an Arsenal shirt I guess! Looked very solid.
Vela – 7.5 – Once again he has been given the chance and has repaid the faith Wenger has in him. The assist was awesome. Made nice quick runs. He sure has very quick feet.
Bendtner – 7 – Should have been 7.5 had it not been for his misses. But still quite a performance by him. He looked like a complete striker.
Eduardo – 8 – Without doubt the man of the match. Did everything right and to return from a year on the sidelines with a brace is certainly the best return we could hope for.
van Persie – 6 – Half an hour and apart from that missed header, played quite well. Deserved the goal.
Ramsey – 5 – Got half an hour but did not do anything notable.
Bischoff – 5.5 – One could see the talent in him. I was impressed by his little cameo.