Arsenal 4 – 0 Cardiff… Eduardooooooooooo……..

Arsenal 4 – 0 Cardiff
Eduardo 20, Bendtner 34, Eduardo 60 pen, Van Persie 89.

Yesterday marked the return of the awesome Crozilian, Eduardo, to the starting XI and he couldn’t have had a better come back.

The line up saw Van Persie rested with Eduardo and Bendtner starting up front. The midfield consisted of Nasri on the right and Vela on the left with Denilson and Song in the middle. Johan Djourou exited the warm up, ill, so Toure and Gallas were paired together with Sagna and Gibbs on either side and Fabianski in goal.

The signs were there from the word “go”. This team meant business. Eduardo looked like he was so glad to be on the pitch. He looked every inch the player that was last seen against Birmingham last year. Bendtner looked like he had a point to prove and little old Mexican Carlos Vela’s twinkle toes were in full action. With Samir Nasri starting a little deeper, the formation resembled a bit more of a 4-3-3 at times. Don’t get me wrong, Nasri got forward enough, but the side was balanced and it was an exciting side. With Vela and Nasri we can pace and skill on the wings, which put Cardiff on the back foot from the beginning of the game. Vela, Nasri, Eduardo and Bendtner coupled with Denilson have a lot of flicks and tricks and it made for an entertaining game.

The moment we have all been waiting for took about 20 minutes – some incisive play by the front players saw Eduardo pass out wide to Vela who cross back in for Eduardo to head his first goal into the back of the net. A goal that breathed emotion though the crowd, even if you weren’t at the ground. All Arsenal fans saw and watched in awe as Eduardo slid on the form and gave Vela a wry smile… “I’m back, it read” and all fans suddenly had a glaze on their eyes. Girls let a tear go, men just gulped. It was emotional.

The dominance continued and about 15 minutes later, Bendtner, from a corner, headed in to make it 2-0. I’m glad Bendtner got his goal, because the amount of chances he missed were amazing – if you watch the highlights, check out the one when Vela spun and shot and Bendtner had two goal scoring opportunities from about 5 yards and was unable to convert.

The second half saw more of the same, we went forward with venom and defended with unity. We did have a few penalty appeals turned down before finally the ref pointed to the spot – it was actually a little harsh on the Cardiff defender – but Eduardo got up and duly tucked away his second of the night. Smiles all round. Before the Crozilian could get his hat trick, he was replaced by Van Persie – a standing ovation. The Dutchman almost had an immediate entrance shooting wide and then setting up Bendtner. But RVP got his goal one minute from time with an excellent right footed shot.

Arsene spoke on the game and Eduardo’s return:

“I am not surprised he played well tonight. I didn’t play him as a reward for his excellent work; it was because in training over the past few weeks he has done extremely well. He made a big step forward two weeks ago when he found sharpness in front of goal and in his runs and he got rid of his apprehension in the tackles. Of course it is nearly 12 months out and he has been extremely strong mentally during that time, I could never see one minute of doubt in his mind or one minute where he said ‘no, I don’t want to do it’. He always wanted more and this guy is small but has the mental strength of a mountain. He is intelligent, talented and he understands what is happening quickly. He responds very quickly to every situation. That is why he is a striker. He is a quiet boy. He is very, very quiet – he is focussed but of course very happy tonight.

“I think Tony Colbert has spent more time with Eduardo than with his wife. So perhaps he deserves that kind of hug. The physios and doctors have as well done a tremendous job with him. We use him when he is ready but they did a lot of work with him and have done a great job. We will know how important this was at the end of the season. I am very happy to have him back because he gives us options. He can play on flank, he can play central, he can play on the shoulder or upfront on his own. It is fantastic for us.

“I still have to be cautious with him and I cannot throw him in every three days after nine months. We will see how he responds to that hamstring and maybe he can be with us on Saturday, I don’t know. Of course everybody’s happy for him but I believe it was a good team performance; dynamic, convincing and mobile. We played the kind of football we love to play and it is good to see us play with handbrake off. We are now consistent, we are stable defensively, and we added tonight our drive going forward. We played the game we want to play and Eduardo played a big part in that. Everybody is of course pleased for him tonight.”

Amazing words from Arsene, and an amazing return for the Crozilian.

Well done Dudu!


Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Gibbs, Nasri (Ramsey 67), Denilson, Song Billong, Vela (Bischoff 74), Eduardo (Van Persie 67), Bendtner.

Subs Not Used: Almunia, Wilshere, Clichy.

Booked: Gallas, Bendtner.

Goals: Eduardo 20, Bendtner 34, Eduardo 60 pen, Van Persie 89.

Cardiff: Heaton, McNaughton, Purse (Blake 68), Roger Johnson, Kennedy, Burke, Rae (Scimeca 74), Ledley, Parry (Whittingham 68), Bothroyd, McCormack.

Subs Not Used: Sak, Capaldi, Eddie Johnson, Comminges.

Att: 57,237

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).]]>

  • Pete


    Great game! Man, I've not felt this happy for a player for a very long time. EDUARDOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Only thing I'm gutted about is that he didn't get a hat trick.

    Welcome back Edu!!!!!!!!!! :D]]>

  • RF

    < ![CDATA[Eduardo's Goal just says it All !!!

    Perfect Game , Perfect Return.

    Go Gunners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]]>

  • Debs

    That’s going to make me smile for the rest of the season irrespective of where we finish! It’s just so so good to have him back!

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[It was really an emotional match. I almost dropped a tear for edu on the brace. The celebrations had a lot of message in them and you could see a grateful player. grateful to fans who beleived and stood by him hoping and praying for his return, grateful to the club, grateful to his fitness coach, physios and fellow players. I took a good look into edu's eyes after the first goal, it was filled with so much emotions. Looked straight into vela's eyes and gave him a big kiss !
    On the performance, it was a good game. we played with the fluidity that we used to show last season and it was so hard to beleive that this was the same cardiff that held us 0-0 just three weeks ago.
    Tom Heaton was arguably the man of the match pulling out save after save to deny the rampaging gunners.
    Nasri was the silent achiever in that team, he played a little deep but that boosted the midfield a lot. Denilson was very mobile although his pass completion ratio was not so fantastic. sam as song.

    And what the hell was bendtner thinking about with those naty tackles ? he was lucky he didn't see red. His pass accuracy was not so good too.

    Gibbs was also a good replacement (even if not 100%) for clichy]]>


    < ![CDATA[Gibbs improved 2000% last night - I've never rated him as a defender, but last night he was solid and confident. He wasn't really tested too much, but he looked very assured on the ball and dealt with everything well.

    It was great to see Sagna and Gibbs getting forward - last night was not only the return of Eduardo but the return of attacking football to the emirates - Everybody looked to be getting forward all the time. Nasri was brilliant, pulling the strings as he was - Carlos Vela was exceptional (but looked to be getting tired as the match progressed) and there isn't much to say about Eduardo except I did actually leak a man tear when he scored.

    Nik Bendtner though - twice he made challenges that could've seen him sent off - why? Do Arsenal really need more suspensions? It's all good and well demonstrating your hunger to the boss but it would have been easier to do that by putting the ball in the net when you had an open goal.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Some good points raised at the end Yemi.

    Bendtner's tackles got me worried. He could've at least hid his studs or pointed them down. Silly boy. Denilson and Song did loose the ball a bit. Nasri certainly helped keep the midfield stable and strong enough to prevent Cardiff attacks. Sagna was immense as usual ! and Gibbs was good too ! Didn't really feel Clichy's absence. Gibbs has a bit of an advantage in terms of height, which means he can defend headers better than Clichy. But the way we were playing we didn't really need to defend much.

    It seems so long since I watched us play so well. I think the last time we played this well was in the Carling Cup when we won by a landslide, earlier this season. Probably one of our very few awesome performances this season. Great relief to see that the team looks like it's finally starting to work well. I just hope we don't follow this performance with a shock defeat !]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I'd just like to elaborate a little more on Bendtner though. Some will feel he missed too many and be upset with him. Not me though. And I'll tell you why.

    First of all, he was putting himself in the positions you want your front-man to be in, unlike Adebayor of course, who thinks he's as good as Ronaldinho, and can just float about anywhere and get a goal.
    Second, he was making use of himself by gelling together with Vela and Eduardo and sharing responsibility up front, which made us all the more threatening. It was because he was being marked by a couple of Cardiff defenders all the time, that Eduardo and Vela were finding space to work into (as well as Vela and Eduardo's individual intelligence and skill to make space for themselves).
    Third, he was actually taking his chances as best he could. He was hitting the target on most occasions, with either the keeper making great saves, or the post coming in the way, or him being inches wide. What more could you ask for. If it had been Adebayor, he'd not be hitting the target at all. He'd miss so horribly and send it so far wide that you'd want to throw a tomato at him. Adebayor needs twice as many chances as Bendtner does to score. And Adebayor finds it harder to take shots on goal or to make something happen, whereas Bendtner does it slightly better. He gets into better positions which helps him take shots on goal, or pass it to a team-mate and continue the forward movement. Adebayor just can't seem to create anything for himself. And some of that might have to do with the fact that he's such a tall guy that he's not very quick in situations where speed is the key, when you're up against 2 or 3 defenders in very tight spaces. Bendtner is slightly quicker.]]>

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[zohaib, I completely agree with you. The only problem i had with bendtner (apart from his pass accuracy) were those nasty unwarranted tackles. Just when you were having a more robust team, for another player to be on suspension, coupled with the injury worries. Asides that, he was as you said, in the right place at all times (position wise).
    If you look at the goal he scored, he was on theright edge of the box before the ball came in, He freed himself and floated into the thick of things. It was a good one.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Yup. Exactly. It wasn't like him to go so 'all-in' in those challenges which could easily have become nasty had he made contact. But I suppose that's what happens when a player pre-meditates and decides to go all-in because he's that committed to winning the ball back etc. It's probably his version of giving it everything, which is pleasing as a supporter and manager, but it shows that at the speed the game is being played these days, it's so easy to get it wrong and there's almost no margin for error. What goes against him is that he is quite tall and as a result not one of the quicker players. He's got top-speed but I'm talking about acceleration and change of direction. And that makes it tricky in those kinds of situations. For players who aren't quick it's best that they not go all-in when it's a 50-50. At the end he's the one who knows how quick he is and where he stands compared to everyone else, and so it is to an extent his responsibility to ensure that he doesn't do anything that could hurt someone. But that said, sometimes things just happen, which aren't completely in ones' control. He definitely shouldn't have made the tackle on that occasion though, because he was too far away. But it shows his level of commitment. Certainly twice that of Adebayor.

    And the whole team started off so well that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. It's surprising what a little injection of confidence can do. And the team does seem to be a bit edgy and nervous when it's not going their way. They find it hard to make amends during a match and seem short on confidence. But players like VanPersie, Vela, Eduardo and Nasri can make all the difference. As well as Cesc and hopefully Rosicky, Arshavin and Walcott as well. As I see it, they are the ones that are mentally tougher than some of their other team-mates. The only place where we need that kind of mental resolve is in DM and at the moment we're a bit short.

    All I want this season, is to see more football of that quality. I don't care anymore, whether we win anything or not. I just wish I could witness that level of football most of the time if not all. I just want to see the players enjoying themselves. Playing creative football. Most of all I want to see Vanpersie, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin and Cesc all in the starting eleven together. SWEEET though.
    I'm in a bit of a fix though. How will they all fit on the pitch together. Maybe there's no need for a keeper then ;)


    Yeap. It would work :P]]>

  • zohaib

    Cesc’s going to kick a ball in 10 days !

  • debs

    haha Zohaib! that’s as attacking as we could ever get! just 2 defenders! lol. we’d score thousands of goals each game and set a world record! we’d probably concede half as many though, but it would be beautiful and entertaining football! ;) But I’d want Clichy in that line-up one way or the other :)

  • debs

    yes he is, Zohaib! brilliant news! :)

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib - that's the most craziest formation ever!!! You'd be asking too many offensive players to play defensively and it would imbalance the side.

    On a separate note:

    "It was the best day of my life," said Eduardo]]>

  • kameron

    We have been missing this performance for ages-that was the old arsenal-i’m just hoping Eddy is banging them in week in week out-that means goodbye adabayo-greedy piece of scum. RVP and Eddy up front will mean 40 goals each ;-)

  • raj

    < ![CDATA[Ill give credit where its due. He put in a good shift last night. Something he has been lacking in a while. He did run all over the place from start to finish, got himself a goal, and a good assist for RVP. BUT a striker should not miss an open goal from 2 yards out, AND miss the follow up after that!

    Last night was a massive improvment from the team as a whole. They were comited and for the first time in a while they looked like a team again! Passing was good (and accurate for the first time in ages) they were solid defensivley, good going forward, scored 4!!!!!!! And the best thing is they look like they might just get some of the much needed confidence back!

    Eduardo had a brillioant return, and it was not just his goals! As im sure im not the only one, i kept a close eye on him during the game, his link-up play was good, his positioning was good, and he looks to still have the speed! Im pretty sure that after afew more games he will be back to his best, and greedybarndoor can meet the bench!

    Theo should be back end of the month, Cesc back training with a ball in 10 days, and hopefuly (and this is very hopeful) the long awaited comeback of Rosicky! Things might just not be soooooo bad afterall!]]>


    < ![CDATA[Nah, I don't buy this Bendtner stuff - he missed two cast iron chances, could of got sent off for two terrible challenges and looked a little out of the loop at one point.

    He did play better if you ignore the misses and I'm sure that will come with confidence - he did even look better in build up play. But let's face it, first choice will always be Van Persie in this form and Edaurdo has made a massive leap ahead of Adebayor if he builds up full match fitness quickly.

    Sure Bendtner passed the ball well - but Edaurdo scored twice in his first match back after a year. Thats the kind of attacker you want.

    Zohaib, I know what you mean about being commited, but there was absolutely no need to make those challenges in the oppenents half when we were 3 and 4-0 up. That's not commitment at that stage - it's lunacy!

    I like your formation though - although I'd be inclined to have a little more in the way of defence:

    ------———————-Van Persie——————--------

    Clichey/Sagna would push up to give us pace on the wings and that would still give you Walcott on the bench as super sub.

    I actually prefer formations where the midfield players can roam. In my formation I'd see Arshavin, Nasri, Fabregas freely moving around into space.

    I also see Vela as a forward not a winger.

    But hell - exciting times - last night we finally looked like we had an attacking edge!]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Last nite was brilliant. I was just thinking, Eduardo was amazing...but what was even more amazing was the intelligence of the man. His movement was top notch. What will make him a more efficient player than Ade or Bendtner is the fact that even when Dudu is out of form, let's say his shooting boots aren't on, he puts himself in great positions all the time. So let's say Ade & Bendtner are out of form, sure they have height, but their link-up play and attacking intelligence isn't as good as Dudu's. And another thing about they way he plays means he will provide vital assists for other players as well. I guess that's why he can play on the wing as well.

    And Vela...amazing stuff from him really. What a confident guy! It almost seems as if we weren't missing that Arshavin like personality in there! But of course he is a experienced bonus who will add to the quality and competition in the squad, whilst being a teacher to the younger ones. But back to Vela...he was quick, decisive and fearless...similar to Theo i thought.

    Gallas & Toure looked well solid. Apart from their handicap in the air, those to are in-form and are working like a well-oiled engine at the back. They both had chances to score even! That shows how well we played. Denilson was not bad at all...Nasri was top-class...played very well....lots of freedom...which is what he likes. All round, great stuff!]]>

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[It's so wonderful what a single addition could do to the team. It feels as if we just got a new player signing making his debut.
    Permit me to also draw comparison between Edu and drogba. Edu came back from just a little bit less than a year of injury and his first competitive match (even though not 100% match fit) he produced an outstanding performance, unlike drogba who went for six months and has not found his form. I beleive that this has to do with how wenger doesn't like rushing his players when they come back from injury. Remember Van persie not quite ago? i expect same for rosisky, cesc, walcott and of course ade. Ade has to fight for dear life now to be able to get a starting shirt]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I am soooo happy for Edu and I can't wait for Arshavin to appear in the starting line up.

    I couldn't watch the game as I have not got Shitanta and was very upset that i missed Edu's first appearance in 51 weeks.

    However a work colleague told me about a site that they stream all arsenal games called Has anyone used or heard of this before?]]>


    < ![CDATA[This sums up Bendtner - he's a fucking arrogant cretin.

    I’ve never seen Arshavin. I did not watch Euro 2008. I’ve no idea what sort of player he is.]]>

  • Debs

    It does sounds like something he’d say, but i have a feeling that’s not exactly what was said or that it was taken out of context or something- definitely some media spin of some sort cos I haven’t actually heard the audio version, and also because it sounds like a strange thing to say at this point in time…

  • Debs

    But I wouldn’t put it past him though…

  • Fabrez

    I’d rubbish that quote unless i heard it himself…granted i heard sum1 say it was on his personal website? Dunno. And never heard of that website b4 Gooner Get Ya

  • Fabrez

    *heard it from him himself

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I don't think its arrogance at all. I think its possible that he didn't watch the Euros and was partying the summer away in the states or something. I didn't see Arshavin until I saw the Euros. But maybe Bendtner did watch the Euros but didn't watch Russia play. Who cares. I think all it was was intelligent thinking on Bendtner's part to deflect that line of questioning. And if he doesn't want to talk about Arshavin, so what ? Don't we know what Arshavin is like ? He said publicly that Pavlyuchenko wasn't his friend and that he makes it clear to people who doesn't like. With that kind of an attitude, it's obvious there will be people who don't get along with him. Big deal. And I'm certain there was some media spin to it as Debs says.

    I agree with your earlier comments on Bendtner. But the fact is, he's in better form than Adebayor and should merit a starting spot before Adebayor. Of course, now with VanPersie and Eduardo being fit, they are my starting strikers. Vela might be a striker but he's got to learn the trade and after yesterday's performance, I don't think he's all that bad on the wing. But that was because we were playing a 4 - 3 - 3 and he was finding room. It's still too early to judge him. He needs many more games. As does Walcott.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Agreed…they (Theo & Vela) r both very young…they’ll have loads to learn from attackers like Arshavin, Rosicky, Edu etc. But good to have em in the squad. The future looks good once we can keep our squad together over the summer, lose players like Eboue & bring in a good DM.

  • Debs

    I just hope anyways that the whole squad get along well with the new recruit, or rather, that they get along well enough to do the job on the pitch…

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…friction or not, the job has got to be done. They r professionals & AW doesn’t accept rubbish…so hopefully they’ll get the job done regardless of any dislikes between any1! We know that Gallas & Toure aren’t the best of friends but it comes down to respect for each other, respect for the club and being professional. We’ll b fine i reckon…

  • Debs

    Yeah, we’ll be fine. But I’m very sure of there are any minor skirmishes, the media, as usual, will blow it out of proportion, so everything’s got to be taken with a pinch of salt… And yeah, it’s all about respect, definitely.

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[I knew it was rubbish! And debs rightly said there was a media spin to it. Why do the media hate Arsenal so much??? This is what the Dane had to say on the Arsenal website:

    “I've never said anything like what they put in the newspapers,” he told the Arsenal magazine. “And it makes me upset because it comes across really bad.

    “None of it was said like that. Basically I did a long interview for the Danish press recently, they asked me a lot of questions and the press over here have taken my answers and twisted them out of proportion.

    “I was happy with the article in the Danish magazine and if you saw it you would realise that what was reported over here was not true.

    “There is nothing you can do about it when they change what has been said and it's annoying because it makes people think 'what is he playing at?'

    “If I feel the need to say something to my team-mates to explain it then I will do, but they know that I am right behind the team and wouldn't say things like that.”

    Stupid media tries to unsettle us once more.]]>

  • zohaib

    Yea I just read that. I was about to post the link here myself. Thanks Fabrez. I knew it sounded a little fishy.

  • zohaib

    This helps convince me that even that bit about Bendtner not having seeing Arshavin or not knowing how he plays, was also media rubbish.

  • Debs

    Typical British media! I actually believed it when I first heard it, (until I thought about it when Kieran brought it up), and I’m sure countless others believed it too, including those who don’t actually go on the Arsenal website and as such, would not know that it’s not wholly true! But anyways, good to hear him say those statements were taken well out of context…

  • Debs

    Oh, and we never did find out what the gist about the injury news thingy was! Thanks a lot Dev! lol

  • zohaib

    Yes ! I want to know the point of the whole injury news thing !

  • Yemi

    You guys have decided not to help us out with the injury list. Let us have a laff too !!!!! I saw nothing strange or out of sorts on the list

  • Fabrez

    Me 2! C’mon! Let us in on the joke plz!

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[I'm suspicious.

    I bet there is no joke and that its a "I get it, don't you?" job.]]>

  • ray

    < ![CDATA[The return of Eduardo and the arrival of Arshavin have really uplifted spirits at Arsenal. And in perfect time too.

    To see Eduardo even play again is a joy to behold. The effect it could have on the club could be massive.

    Arshavin signing for the club, combined with Eduardo's comeback, couldn't have arrived at a better time. We Gooners needed a lift, we got it with these two.

    Add Rosicky coming back to the fold, Cesc and Theo returning from injury, there are exciting times ahead.

    A top three finish is very achievable. As is winning the Champions League or FA Cup. I really believe it.

    A couple of posts ago I wrote that someone was going to get a hiding soon and it could ignite our season. We gave Cardiff a hiding and I honestly believe we will begin to start smashing teams now and go on a long winning streak.

    I'm starting to look at the rest of the campaign with a real feel good factor. I'm feeling positive that we can achieve something this season.]]>

  • Marriich

    < ![CDATA[Vela and Edu on the same pitch change the team.

    I understand that Bendtner can be frustrating, but he's scored some good goals and I really like his movement the last few games. He's coming back for the ball and sprinting into space at speed, and he doesn't mind laying off to someone else. He can create and he can head in the ball. Sure he's missed some sitters, but he's young and think of what he'll do in the future when he catches his snap.

    With Bendtner, Ade, Gallas and now Edu, we've got a whole new option for breaking teams down. With Vela and Arshavin, and soon Walcott, we can break teams down the wings and put those balls in the box for those guys to score.

    Song or Denilson are both young and not dominating midfielders. While Song seems lumbering at times I think that's more a result of his stride than his actual workrate. He's getting better and better. He sprays a few errant passes still, but I think he'll get that under control soon. As for Denilson, he's got an engine and I think he's a fine option. He's also had leadership responsibilities at lower levels, so I expect big things.

    We're not even talking about Cesc or Rosicky coming back yet. Or what this team is going to look like next year. Yes, it was only Cardiff. But the team just play a whole different game with speed.]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Yea, it's remarkable how much of a difference the introduction of Eduardo and Vela made. Vela has looked a little subdued when he has come off the bench in the premiership, but when he has started (against lesser teams like Sheffield and Cardiff) he has been outstanding.

    Fabianski should also get a mention for looking very solid at the back when called on for crosses and the like.]]>

  • zohaib

  • debs

    Very interesting reading, Zohaib, even though I don’t know what to make of the whole boardroom saga. But as long as Mr Wenger’s still there, I think we’ll be alright. But it’s a worrying position to be in at this point in time though. I just hope we’re not Liverpool in waiting, with all the boardroom trouble that spills over all the time!

  • Fabrez

    Hmm…Zohaib…very interesting article…has me a bit worried bcuz that kind of vibe is the opposite to what we want to hear, especially with our season seemingly now coming together. But Wenger usually protects his players as if they were his very children from things like this…so that is good. Wonder what the effects will be a year or so later? Whatever it is, let’s just hope that decision made will have the best interests of Arsenal FC at heart. Being like Liverpool will not be cool!

  • http://tung arlind

    my favorite’s Arsenal

  • http://tung arlind

    my favorit arsenal