Thursday, December 31, 2009
Abou Diaby struck twice as Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with an emphatic 4-1 win over Portsmouth at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Frenchman sidefooted in after 18 minutes and swept home another soon afterwards as Arsène Wenger’s side produced some sublime football in the first half.
They were pegged back by a header from Younes Kaboul just before the interval but a freak goal from William Gallas, his third in three games this term, and fourth from substitute Aaron Ramsey completed a satisfying afternoon for Arsène Wenger.
It was the sign of things to come in the first 15 minutes – incessant Arsenal pressure but without real focus. Arshavin rolled a shot wide in the ninth minute and the home side forced a flurry of corners but David James should have been called into greater action before Arsenal took the lead in the 18th minute.
Eduardo collected the ball on the left, nudged it one side of Marc Wilson then cheekily raced around the other side to collect near the byline. The striker steadied himself before rolling a pass into the path of the onrushing Diaby, who sidefooted a powerful shot into the roof of the net. It was inventive, incisive Arsenal at their best.
Begovic, Finnan, Kaboul, Ben-Haim, Hreidarsson, Yebda, Mokoena (Vanden Borre '58), Hughes (Brown '90), Belhadj, Boateng (Kanu '71), Piquionne
Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore, Ramsey, Song Billong, Diaby, Nasri (Eastmond '85), Eduardo (Rosicky '72), Arshavin (Vela '82)