Last year's UEFA Champions League finalists Arsenal FC continued their outstanding start to this season's competition, beating FC Porto 2-0 to consolidate their position at the top of Group G with two wins from two.
Goals either side of half-time earned Arsenal three points against a Porto team that struggled to cope with their opponents' fast, accurate passing and electric counterattacks. Having reduced the hosts largely to long-range shots early on, Porto's resistance was broken by Thierry Henry's 50th goal in European competition on 38 minutes. Arsenal's inspirational captain then turned provider, setting up Aleksandr Hleb to score and effectively end the hopes of visitors who have not scored in two games.
After securing the first league victory in their new stadium against Sheffield United FC at the weekend, Arsenal seemed determined to break their UEFA Champions League duck at the first time of asking, beginning at a frantic pace. Robin van Persie, operating on the left of a five-man midfield, was quickly into the action, rifling in a low shot that was tipped round the post by Porto goalkeeper Helton on four minutes.
Arsenal's fans were warming to the occasion and Tomáš Rosický, enjoying his central role behind Henry, twice combined cleverly with the Frenchman, but failed to trouble the Brazilian keeper. Porto soon settled to their task, however, gaining more possession as the half wore on. Creative midfielders Ricardo Quaresma and Anderson frequently found space behind front man Hélder Postiga and the former fired over from distance on 13 minutes. There was a more serious alert for the home side moments later, Cesc Fabregas reacting well to clear a Bruno Alves strike off the line following Quaresma's inswinging corner.
Back from injury, Henry's influence grew as the match progressed. The skipper laid on the first clear chance for Van Persie on the half-hour which the Dutchman blazed over. That signalled a period of domination for Arsenal, Fabregas volleying narrowly over and Van Persie forcing another save from Helton. There was little the custodian could do on 38 minutes, though, as Emmanuel Eboué angled a superb cross to the far post for Henry to head his first goal in six European outings.
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira made a double change at the break, sending on midfielder Raul Meireles for left-back Ricardo Costa and forward Lisandro López for Postiga but hopes of a swift equaliser were dispelled when Arsenal scored again three minutes into the second half. William Gallas surged meaningfully through the midfield and picked out his compatriot Henry who unselfishly knocked the ball on for the onrushing Hleb to hit a crisp shot inside the far post for his first UEFA Champions League goal.
With Arsenal looking to slow down the pace, Ferreira sent on another forward, Adriano, to partner López. Meireles tested Jens Lehmann for the first time with a weak strike from outside the penalty area but Arsène Wenger's men rarely looked like surrendering control. Indeed, they might have added a third had Fabregas not seen his close-range attempt brilliantly parried by Helton.