Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eduardo Seals Arsenal Comeback

Arsenal mounted a stirring comeback to secure a 3-2 victory at Standard Liege, having been two goals behind within five minutes of the start of their Champions League Group H clash.

Eduardo proved to be the matchwinner for the Gunners, who scored twice in the final 12 minutes in the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.

Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri were all missing for the Gunners, while Vito Mannone started in goal in place of injured duo Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski.

The home side, the Belgian champions, were without star midfielder Steve Defour due to a foot injury, but they still made a flying start to the game.

Eduardo gave the ball away on the edge of the area following the first corner of the game and Eliaquim Mangala fired home a low, left-foot shot from 20 yards out.

That was after a mere two minutes and three minutes later it was 2-0 to Standard after Milan Jovanovic went down under the challenge of William Gallas.

Jovanovic picked himself up to despatch the spot-kick with some ease, sending the unfortunate Mannone the right way.

Having made a perfect start, Standard sat back and invited some pressure, but a strangely wayward Gunners passing game caused them few problems.

However, that changed right on the stroke of half-time as Abou Diaby played in Nicklas Bendtner on the right and he drilled a low shot through the legs of Sinan Bolat and into the far corner of the net.

Straight after the restart Dieumerci Mbokani had a shot blocked after Igor De Camargo made ground through the Gunners defence.

Soon after Bendtner ran clear at the other end, but Mangala made a superb recovery tackle to prevent an equaliser.

The game then dropped in tempo and there were few chances at either end, before the Gunners suddenly turned the game on its head as it drew to a close.

Twelve minutes from time a Cesc Fabregas free-kick from the left reached the far post and Thomas Vermaelen bundled the ball home from inches out, despite protests for offside and handball by Alex Song.

Three minutes later and Arsenal grabbed a winner as a Fabregas corner from the left was missed by several defenders and Eduardo poked the ball home from close range.

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