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Clinical Arsenal brush AZ aside

Published: Thursday 5 November 2009, 0.48CET
Arsenal FC 4-1 AZ Alkmaar
Captain Cesc Fàbregas scored twice as the unbeaten English side moved four points clear in Group H with just two matches to play.
by Trevor Huggins
from Arsenal Stadium

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Match statistics

ArsenalAZ

Goals scored4
 
1
Attempts on target7
 
3
Attempts off target4
 
4
Corners5
 
4
Offsides5
 
2
Fouls committed14
 
14
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 5 November 2009, 0.48CET

Clinical Arsenal brush AZ aside

Arsenal FC 4-1 AZ Alkmaar
Captain Cesc Fàbregas scored twice as the unbeaten English side moved four points clear in Group H with just two matches to play.

Two goals from captain Cesc Fàbregas set Arsenal FC on their way to a comfortable victory against AZ Alkmaar which left the Gunners on the verge of qualifying for the last 16 from UEFA Champions League Group H.

On top
Fàbregas scored in the 25th and 52nd minutes, either side of Samir Nasri's first-half strike, before Abou Diaby added a fourth in the 72nd minute and Jeremain Lens grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors. Arsenal top the section by four points from Olympiacos FC – beaten 2-0 at R. Standard de Liège – and need just a point from their remaining two matches to be certain of a place in the first knockout round.

Early pressure
Stung by AZ's added-time equaliser in the Netherlands two weeks ago, Arsenal made their intentions clear from the off. Robin van Persie tried his luck in the fourth minute after a series of short passes put the Dutchman through for an angled drive that flew narrowly wide of the far post. Though it signalled the start of the home team's pressure on the AZ penalty area, a string of clear-cut chances was not to follow.

Fàbregas celebrates
With the Dutch champions' well-organised defence seemingly impervious to aerial attack, it was going to take something special for Arsène Wenger's men to make a breakthrough and that duly arrived when Fàbregas, who had also given his side the lead in Alkmaar, collected the ball on the edge of the box from William Gallas. It may not have looked like a scoring position, and there was not a great deal of power behind his well-concealed shot, but goalkeeper Sergio Romero could only get his glove to the Spaniard's daisy-cutter as it zipped inside the near post.

Second strike
The setback gave AZ more urgency going forward, yet just as Ronald Koeman's charges appeared to be coming back into the game, Arsenal put it further out of their reach. Two minutes before the break, Andrei Arshavin picked up the ball in midfield and fed Nasri, who deftly skirted the last defender before steering a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

AZ threat
Seven minutes after the interval, Arshavin was again the provider as AZ gave possession away in central midfield and the playmaker slipped the ball through for Fàbregas to smack a first-time effort past Romero. To their credit, AZ shrugged off the latest blow and very nearly pulled one back when Graziano Pellè chested the ball down and volleyed a searing shot which Manuel Almunia parried, sending it against the underside of the bar and out.

Game over
Fàbregas left the field to huge applause when he was replaced by Aaron Ramsey in the 67th minute, with Van Persie also making way for Eduardo in what Wenger clearly believed was a match already won. It certainly seemed that way in the 72nd minute when Eduardo's clever back-heel released Arshavin on the counter and the Russian teed up Diaby to beat Romero from close range. However, the final goal went the way of AZ – who could still qualify in second spot despite propping up the section – as Lens raced through to finish neatly after a swift break on 82 minutes.

Last updated: 27/11/12 21.56CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000418/postmatch/report/index.html#clinical+arsenal+brush+az+aside

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

az

AZ

1
AlmuniaManuel Almunia (GK)
22
RomeroSergio Romero (GK)
2
DiabyAbou Diaby
Goal72
2
JaliensKew Jaliens
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas (C)
Goal25
Goal52
Substitution67
4
MorenoHéctor Moreno
5
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
6
MendesDavid Mendes
Substitution70
8
NasriSamir Nasri
Goal43
8
SchaarsStijn Schaars (C)
10
GallasWilliam Gallas
11
MartensMaarten Martens
11
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Substitution67
15
S. PoulsenSimon Poulsen
Substitution64
17
SongAlex Song
18
DembéléMousa Dembélé
Substitution58
23
ArshavinAndrey Arshavin
Substitution75
25
MoisanderNiklas Moisander
Yellow Card66
27
EbouéEmmanuel Eboué
27
HolmanBrett Holman
28
GibbsKieran Gibbs
29
PellèGraziano Pellè

Substitutes

24
MannoneVito Mannone (GK)
1
DidulicaJoey Didulica (GK)
3
SagnaBacary Sagna
5
PocognoliSébastien Pocognoli
Substitution64
6
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
7
LensJeremain Lens
Substitution58
Goal82
7
RosickýTomáš Rosický
Substitution75
9
AriAri
9
EduardoEduardo
Substitution67
16
WernbloomPontus Wernbloom
Substitution70
16
RamseyAaron Ramsey
Substitution67
23
van der VeldenNick van der Velden
18
SilvestreMikaël Silvestre
28
SwertsGill Swerts

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Ronald Koeman (NED)

Referee

Alain Hamer (LUX)

Assistant referees

François Mangen (LUX), Christian Holtgen (LUX)

Fourth official

Luc Wilmes (LUX)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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