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Wee men lead Arsenal past Porto
by Paul Kennedy, March 10th, 2010 12:48AM

TAGS:  england, portugal, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Arsenal might once again finish the season without a trophy, but on nights like Tuesday at the Emirates Stadium the Gunners are sure fun to watch. Arsenal got a hat trick from Dane Nicklas Bendtner, a brilliant individual goal by young Frenchman Samir Nasri and a goal by Emmanuel Eboue (set up by Andrey Arshavin) and crushed FC Porto, 5-0, to cruise into the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal was playing without injured Spanish star Cesc Fabregas but hardly missed him.

The key players were Arsenal's two wee men,  Russian Andrey Arshavin and Nasri, both 5-foot-8.

When he is on, as he was Tuesday with assists on Bendtner's second goal and Eboue's goal, Arshavin is every bit as good as Fabregas.

The goal of the game came in the second half when Nasri began his run on the right wing and beat three Porto defenders in the area -- sending Uruguayan Cristian Rodriguez to the ground twice -- before slotting the ball past the beleaguered Helton in goal to make it 3-0.

On the first goal of the game, Nasri also thread the ball into the area, where Arshavin and Helton collided before the ball fell to Bendtner for an easy goal.

Afterwards, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his countryman.

"What Nasri has shown in the game, he has shown in training and I have expected that to come out,'' said Wenger. "He has talent and now he starts to be efficient. Great players can assist and score goals, he is starting to do that now.''

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