Arsenal 5 v Shakhtar Donetsk 1

On the night when Eduardo made an emotional return to north London, Arsenal played an almost flawless game to rout Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 to claim outright top spot in their Champions League group H. Alex Song, Samir Nasri a penalty from the returning captain Cesc Fabregas, a sublime strike from Jack Wilshere and Marouane Chamakh’s sixth Arsenal goal overpowered a startled Donetsk.

Proud

Arsenal took the lead through Song who finished with a reverse flick that any centre forward would have been proud of. Nasri’s corner seemed to be comfortably falling into the hands of Donetsk ‘keeper Andriy Pyatov. Seemingly under little or no pressure however, he fluffed the ball which with the perseverance of Johan Djourou fell to Song for a very special opener.

Deeper

Technically astute and very mobile, Donetsk continued to pass the ball, but without much end product. Now where have we seen that before? Showing little effects from his month out of the game Cesc Fabregas was dropping deeper from his newly found advanced position, but no matter as Jack Wilshere was having the kind of game that has become his trademark of late.

The 18 year old held the ball well, passed with intelligence and despite his red card on Saturday was not shy in letting the Ukranian side know he was about.Three minutes before the break the Gunners doubled their lead.

Congested

Song was well advanced to receive Emmanuel Eboue’s ball which was swung over to Nasri in a congested area. The France midfielder however showed the intelligence to control with his right foot, shake off his marker and power in with his left foot.

Top order

Donetsk star the second period brightly and forced a smart save from Lukasz Fabianski, whose handling was it has to be said of the the top order. With Arsenal in total control, you always felt another goal was not far away. And it duly arrived on just shy of the hour mark. Djourou was again involved, bundled off the ball by Luiz Adriano, and the penalty spot was being pointed to by the Norway official.Up stepped Fabregas to rifle home for the Arsenal third and unveiled his shirt proclaiming “Happy Birthday Mum!”

Chip

Donetsk were bamboozled and sent on Eduardo to rousing cheers of his famous Emirates cry. Still Arsenal roared forward and as Thomas Rosicky fed Wilshere after another sweeping move, the teenager chipped the ball over the advancing Pyatov for a 4-0 scoreline on 65 minutes. Unbelievable stuff, but four minutes later Chamakh made it 5-0. Eboue was his former surging from right back self and as he fed Nasri, his clever chip eluded the Donetsk defence, but not Chamakh who placed in off a prostrated Pyatov for his sixth goal of the season.

Eduardo goal

Wenger sent on Denilson, Theo Walcott Andrey Arshavin, but the next goal came from Donetsk and yes from Eduardo. A quick break caught out the Gunners’ defence as the Brazil born Croat struck home, but true to his pre-match word did not celebrate as the Emirates crowd all rose and saluted their former hero. Still the Gunners surged forward, with Walcott going close, but all the damage had been inflicted by a ruthless Arsenal at that stage.

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