Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bendtner goal make it up the Champions League defeat

Arsenal 2
- Bendtner 27,
- Fabregas (pen) 90

Sunderland 0

**THEO Walcott may not yet have secured his seat on England's World Cup plane to South Africa, but he could hardly have turned in a better audition than the performance he produced in front of England manager Fabio Capello yesterday.
Nicklas Bendtner scored the first-half goal and Cesc Fabregas the injury-time penalty which defeated a sterile Sunderland side but it was Walcott who produced the pace and the menace.

If he was Arsenal's most lethal attacker, though, the otherman who made the difference was Manuel Almunia.

Arsene Wenger had been anxious to stress his support for Lukasz Fabianski after the young Polish goalkeeper's two howlers had sunk the Gunners in their Champions League defeat against Porto in midweek, but it did not stretch to keeping him in the side.

He went for the experience of 34-year-old Almunia, who was back after passing a fitness test on an injured finger. Sol Campbell, whose backpass also contributed to the Gunners' downfall, started on the bench.

The opening goal came courtesy of a precision pass from Emmanuel Eboue which found Bendtner loitering in cavernous space at the far post.

Steve Bruce's side were out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out-played by opponents who wasted several chances.

In injury time Fabregas was brought down by Campbell and the Spaniard got up to rap home Arsenal's second from the spot.

Teams :

Almunia, Eboue (Denilson 89 '), Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Walcott (Sagna 78'), Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri (Rosicky 71 '), Bendtner

Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Mensah, Turner, McCartney (Bardsley 85 '), Campbell, Cana, Ferdinand, Richardson (Zenden 75), Bent, Jones (Benjani 78')


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