Date:Tuesday February 17 2009
Cardiff City were given a right royal pasting last night at the hands of Arsenal, who gave a creativity and finishing masterclass to cast aside any doubts that they weren`t scoring enough goals!
The scene was set early, Arsenal were up for the game - so much for foreigners not understanding the 'magic` - a Brazilian/Croat was simply brilliant, the Ivorian and Frenchman unbeatable at the back while the Mexican Vela was also a constant threat as City struggled with Arsenal`s invention, guile and pace.
Like at Ninian Park, the home side dominated possession and had the better chances but Heaton saved well, and Purse blocked as we held the score at 0-0. It didn`t last and halfway through the first half, we fell behind - it had been coming as Vela's cross came in, and Eduardo showed no signs of missing a year`s football as he beautifully held his run before drifting between defenders to nod home.
Arsenal didn`t let up, and hopes that we could hang on till half-time were dispelled in disappointing fashion as we failed to deal with a routine corner. Fair enough, the delivery was superb and better than we see in the Championship but Purse didn`t meet the ball and Bentner god a head on it to divert home.
The signs were ominous for Cardiff City, we had some possession but were unable to keep it and regularly gave the ball away. McCormack was rarely involved in attack and had to come deeper as the game wore on, he did go close with two well struck free-kicks but narrowly failed to clear the Gunners wall. Two became three in the second half after a penalty, given against a tiring Gavin Rae as he barged into Eduardo - the striker bagging his second from the sport for a dream comeback.
Jay Bothroyd had City`s best chance as he stunk Fabianski`s palms with a shot from outside the box as he and Ledley broke at pace, but Arsenal had the last say as van Persie spun off Darcy Blake and fired home between Heaton`s legs
This was sheer class from Arsenal and underlined their quality and the gulf between the teams. We were clinically brushed aside by flowing moves, rapid passing and an Arsenal side who put simply were streets ahead of us. However, this was no disgrace to Cardiff City, we defended more shakily than recently but were fully involved and gave a spirited and gutsy performance regardless of the scoreline. Our fans were magnificent, 4-0 and still we sing!!! throughout the game and deserve high praise but this day belonged to the resurgent Gunners - irresistible from start to finish in this one-sided encounter.
Date:Tuesday February 17 2009
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