Thursday, September 20, 2007
UEFA CL : Arsenal 3-0 Sevilla
Arsenal made an impressive start to their group with a 3-0 thumping of Spanish debutants Sevilla at the Emirates Stadium in London.
Sevilla came into the match as winners of the last two UEFA Cup competitions, and after thrashing AEK Athens 6-1 on aggregate in qualifying, but they really struggled to come to grips with the pace and movement of the Gunners.
Sevilla began tentatively, defending in numbers as the hosts dominated possession early on, although both keepers had to be sharp to parry attacking efforts.
Arsenal took the lead in the 27th minute after Cesc Fabregas hit a shot from 25 metres which deflected off Julien Escude and wrong footing Sevilla keeper Andres Palop.
Arsenal pressed forward in search of a second with Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor having chances but Frederic Kanoute also had a couple of chances for Sevilla who showed glimpses of their good form.
After the break, the north London club continued to play with style and determination and were rewarded with a second goal on 59 minutes, when Fabregas whipped over a right-wing free-kick that was flicked on by Adebayor and thumped in by Van Persie.
Adebayor and Van Persie went close again after fine work from right-back Bacary Sagna while Sevilla committed men forward in the closing stages in search of a way back into the game.
Those gaps were punished in injury time when Aleksandr Hleb found Fabregas for a slide-rule pass that was turned in by Eduardo for an emphatic 3-0 victory.