UEFA Champions League

September 30, 2008



4 - 0

FC Porto

Group G

18:45 +00:00, September 30, 2008

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Herbert Fandel

  • 90'

    Arsenal needed a good performance tonight and that's what they gave. A convincing win against a decent opposition who just could not find an answer to Arsenal pace and movement. Crisis? What crisis?

  • 90'

    There's the final whistle.

  • 89'

    Lucio and Costa link up to threaten a chance, but Clichy is alert to the danger and blocks the cross and Arsenal clear their lines. Too easy.

  • 88'

    Released by Bendtner, Vela pulled the ball back from the byline but Adebayor and then Eboue failed to make contact as the ball pinged around the box.

  • 87'

    Arsenal fans now cheering every touch as they count down the last few minutes.

  • 86'

    Adebayor drags a shot wide and a hat-trick chance goes begging. Good work from Bendtner towork the opening.

  • 85'

    The Gunners fans, shellshocked and booing at fulltime on Saturday, are chanting and singing and lauding their team tonight after a confident showing here has resulted in a comprehensive win.

  • 83'

    Porto have never really addressed the root cause of all Arsenal's best moves tonight: Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has been at the centre of everything, his passing and vision have created chance after chance, opening after opening and Porto have had no answer to his invention.

  • 82'

    Costa earns himself Porto's first booking - the game's second - for pointlessly holding onto the ball at a throw-in given Arsenal's way. The Porto man clearly frustrated with a sound beating at Arsenal's hands.

  • 81'

    Bendtner slips a ball down the left wing for Adebayor, but the pass finds Adebayor offside.

  • 80'

    Gallas is hurt. Limping badly he is out of position with what looks to be a damaged foot.

  • 79'

    Bendtner and Vela are quick. Very quick. And they are causing problems for a weary Porto.

  • 78'

    Portuguese U-21 international Daniel Candeias is on for Porto, with Rodriguez - their best player on the night - taken off exhausted.

  • 77'

    Vela's arrival was greeted with huge cheers - the Mexican bagged a hat-trick against Sheffield United last week in the League Cup and the home fans sense the youngster has goals to give.

  • 76'

    Earlier in the game a 4-0 scoreline looked unlikely, but Arsenal have ground Porto down and the visitors have had no answer for Arsenal's relentless attacks.

  • 75'

    Going forward Porto aren't too bad - it's just that in defence they are terrible!

  • 74'

    Tomás Costa pounces on a loose ball 35 yards outside the Arsenal goal and fires a great shot toward Almunia.

  • 73'

    The first yellow card of the game is brandished at Clichy for a late tackle on Lucho.

  • 72'

    Some exceptionally poor defending leads to a goal-mouth scrap which Porto manage to hook away - already Vela looking dangerous.

  • 71'

    A change for Arsenal: Walcott has left the fray with Carlos Vela on in his place.

  • 70'

    The spot kick was conceded by Guarin who needlessly hacked down Bendtner just on the edge of the area when the striker had his back to goal - a desperate challenge by a team in dire straights.

  • 69'

    Adebayor ran up, sent Helton the wrong way and passed the ball low into the bottom right of the goal. Good pen.

  • 69'

    4-0 to Arsenal!

  • 69'

    Penalty to Arsenal.

  • 68'

    Rodriguez, drops off his marker and unleahes are powerful drive from range which only just goes over Almunia's bar - a warning for Arsenal.

  • 66'

    Walcott looks a little uncomfortable - his movement is restricted after an awkward fall following another lightening quick run.

  • 65'

    Helton's goal coming under scrutiny from Arsenal - and the keeper is starting to look flustered.

  • 63'

    For Porto the ineffectual Raúl Meireles makes way for a man orginally nicknamed, and now for football purposes known as, Hulk - yes, after the Incredible Hulk! Something to do with his time at a club in Japan.

  • 63'

    For the Gunners Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner are on for Nasri and Van Persie, respectively - so no hat-trick for RVP.

  • 62'

    He will, and there's a change for Porto, too.

  • 61'

    Will Wenger look to make some chances with the game won?

  • 60'

    Fabregas and Walcott have been very good tonight - not brilliant, because some of their final balls and shots have left a little to be desired, but their interplay, running, reading of the game and passing has been wonderful.

  • 59'

    In London Arsenal are comfortable. Porto are trying to fight back into things, which has knocked Arsenal's rhythm, but not enough to cause real danger.

  • 57'

    In Denmark Berbatov has scored to give Man Utd a 2-0 lead. In case you're interested in such matters.

  • 56'

    Walcott shows hid electric pace by burning past Benitez and eventually slipping a ball inside to Nasri, who misses. But from a Toure mis-kick Walcott's raw pace showed opened up Porto.

  • 55'

    Porto just don't have an answer for Arsenal's pace, pitch, coverage, invention or power.

  • 54'

    Gallas is off the pitch changing his boots so the Gunners are down to 10 men for a moment - perhaps they should play with 10 men, might even things up!

  • 53'

    The good news is that Arsenal are not taking their foot off the gas and are looking to destroy Porto - at least for now.

  • 52'

    Walcott should have made it 4-0. But instead of side-footing home he managed to angle his effort wide - poor.

  • 51'

    Raúl Meireles ends up in a grumpy and crumpled heap on the floor after being taken out by Gael Clichy on a rare break.

  • 49'

    Again, what was I saying about possession? Porto needed to seize control of the game and get Arsenal on the defensive right from the off. They didn't and Arsenal started the second half as they finished the first - on fire.

  • 48'

    Now, we have to hope Arsenal look to turn on the style. If not we could be looking at a non-event. Unless of course Porto mount an a remarkable comeback... No, I don't thnk so either.

  • 47'

    Great finish from Van Persie, deftly hitting the ball with the outside of his right boot to poke the ball beyond Helton after some ghastly defending from Bruno Alves and Guarin.

  • 47'

    Goal for Arsenal.

  • 46'

    Porto have to get some ball retention in the Arsenal half or they will be punished.

  • 45'

    Welcome back. The second half begins with a change for Porto, Fernando, the holding man has made way for club captain Lucho González who was thought to be injured.

  • 45'

    So far so good for Arsenal. Porto have been passive observers for the main part and need to chance formation to cause problems. Arsenal are on top and will hope to add more goals to compliment a solid showing so far. Find out if they do with the second half, coming up next.

  • 45'

    That's the half time whistle.

  • 44'

    Arsene Wenger will ask for more of the same from Arsenal in the second half - the movement has been good, the passing crisp and the finishing of a high standard.

  • 42'

    If Porto are to get back into the game they need to switch to a two-man attack - Lisandro Lopez is too isolated and can't do all the work by himself.

  • 41'

    So Arsenal, who cold only score once against Hull, have managed to score twice in 45 minutes against the Portuguese champions. Funny old game.

  • 39'

    The ball from the corner was delieverd by Van Persie direct to Adebayor in the centre of the penalty area, and from a standing jump Adebayor headed the ball in the deck, the bounce deceived Helton and ended up in the back of the net: textbook stuff.

  • 39'

    Arsenal score a second!

  • 38'

    Yet another Arsenal corner, won this time by Fabregas.

  • 37'

    Arsenal calmly deal with the two set plays and break - though Sagna's ball for Adebayor was too strong and the striker was unable to reach it, despite his game running.

  • 36'

    Two corners in quick succession for Porto, the first should not have been given with the last touching coming from a Porto player.

  • 35'

    Fabregas is getting the better of Rodriguez and Guarin in the Porto midfield, which is allowing Arsenal to control the game.

  • 34'

    Porto look a little rattled. They created a few openings but appear lost after conceding - Arsenal should look to exploit the nervous defending.

  • 33'

    Nasri just an inch too short to reach a deep cross from Sagna - good commitment the Frenchman.

  • 32'

    With the opening goal scored and Porto stung, perhaps Arsenal will now look to double their advantage as Porto seek the leveller?

  • 31'

    The goal came at the right time, the crowd were growing a little wear of Arsenal's pretty passing and energetic running; but without a goal they were always at risk of a counter-attack.

  • 30'

    What was I just saying about Adebayor and Van Persie? Ha! Just goes to show, you have to have patience with this Arsenal side.

  • 29'

    On the edge of the box Fabregas picked a diagonal run from Adebayor who squared the ball back across the goal for the on-running Van Persie who stabbed the ball home from five yards. A really neat, well worked goal.

  • 29'

    Goal for Arsenal!

  • 28'

    Adebayor has dropped deep and is offering himself as a target and link-up man for Nasri and Denilson on the left wing. Which is great, but that leaves only Van Persie up front.

  • 27'

    A moment ago William Gallas tried his luck with a bombing run down the left flank, but was robbed of poessession which led to the shot and save. Calm down Arsenal, and the chance will come.

  • 26'

    Arsenal's sixth corner comes to naught and Porto look to break - but Fabregas cuts out the pass.

  • 25'

    A corner from the Almunia save resulted in a goal-mouth scramble and a deep sigh of relief from the home fans.

  • 24'

    Now, Arsenal are getting a little silly and it nearly cost them: A superb save from Almunia after a stunning drive from Lopez.

  • 23'

    Denilson with a smart reverse ball on the deck almost releases Van Persie, but Porto defender Benitez wa alert to the danger.

  • 22'

    At the Emirates Arsenal are all over Porto like a cheap suit, but are yet to make it count.

  • 21'

    In case you're interested Wayne Rooney has just scored for Manchester United against Aalborg.

  • 20'

    Offside against Walcott as he streched to reach a neat one-two from Fabregas.

  • 19'

    Adebayor chested the ball into the path of Van Persie who despite having nothing in front of him except 40 yard of grass and the keeper choose to spread play wide. Is this the famous Arsenal over-elaboration showing itself?

  • 18'

    Another wasted corner.

  • 18'

    Another corner, this time won by Sagna

  • 18'

    Porto clear the corner, but not far and Arsenal are camped on the Portguese's side area.

  • 18'

    Another corner, again won by Walcott who is proving a real handful.

  • 17'

    Porto chasing shaddows at the moment as Arsenal spread the ball about at will.

  • 16'

    Van Persie drops off his marker and lashes a shot over the bar. Nice effort from the Dutchman.

  • 15'

    A confident and assured opening from the Gunners and so far no real worries in midfield, despite Nasri, Fabregas, Denilson and Walcott lacking in physicality.

  • 15'

    Freekick for Porto after Helton is fouled by Adebayor.

  • 14'

    Clichy, Adebayor and finally Walcott all involved as the young Englishman wins a corner for Arsenal after a low drive.

  • 13'

    That was a real warnign for Arsenal - Porto could be willing to soak up the attacks and hit Arsenal on the break.

  • 12'

    What a break from Porto. One moment Arsenal are taking a corner the next the visitors break at pace and from a 5 vs 3 position Porto hit the bar with a header from Cristian Rodriguez.

  • 12'

    Porto hit the post!

  • 11'

    Van Persie draws a decent save from Porto keeper Helton - corner.

  • 10'

    Some really promising attacking play from Arsenal has Porto on the back-foot. Walcott and Sagna on the right and Nasri and on the left are causing problems with their pace and floating positioning.

  • 9'

    Pacey stuff from Arsenal, who have just upped the gears.

  • 8'

    Nasri drifts inside from the left wing to find Bacary Sagna who unleashes the pace of Walcott down the right.

  • 7'

    Fernando is the holding midfielder in the Porto side, tonight he'llbe protecting the backline as the fifth member of the visitor's five-man middle.

  • 6'

    Nasri, Van Persie and Adeyaor work the ball across the edge of the box to Theo Walcott - his shot finds side netting. Decent chance. If a little over complicated - but this is Arsenal!

  • 5'

    Denilson and Nasri get caught out by the Porto offside trap - bring about a flat end to a neat build-up.

  • 4'

    Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas link up well to deny and then clear a hopeful ball from midfield aimed at lone Porto striker Lisandro López.

  • 3'

    Arsenal with the lion's share of the ball so far, spreading passes across the back at will.

  • 2'

    Samir Nasri is the only change to the Gunners side beaten by Hull. He replaces Emmanuel Eboue who has been relegated to the bench.

  • 1'

    A speculative shot from Robin van Persie is blocked by Fernando - and not in area Fernando would have appreciated if you catch my drift. Ouch.

  • 1'

    So good omens for the home side.


    And Porto could be just the team for them to prove themselves; the Portuguese club have had never won on English soil in 10 previous attempts and Arsenal are yet to lose a European game at the Emirates Stadium.


    Arsenal have to answer their critics tonight after THAT defeat to Hull.


    German referee Herbert Fandel gets the game underway!


    And for FC Porto: Helton, Sapunaru, Bruno Alves, Rolando, Benitez, Guarin, Costa, Fernando, Raul Meireles, Rodriguez, Lopez. The visitors' bench: Nuno, Pedro Emanuel, Stepanov, Lucho Gonzalez, Hulk, Lino, Candeias.


    The teams are in. Lining up for Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Van Persie, Adebayor. And the Subs: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboue.


    Arsenal were humbled by Hull on Saturday and will be keen not to let domestic disappointments transfer to the European stage. All the action, live from 19.45 UK time.


    Join us for live coverage of Arsenal's home match against Portuguese champions FC Porto.