Stunning Nasri Destroys Porto (w/ Player Ratings)

Arsenal (5) – (0) FC Porto
Bendtner (10′, 25′, 89′), Nasri (63′), Eboue (66′)
The Emirates Stadium, London

All the pre-game talk was about the absence of Cesc Fabregas. Without our inspiration captain, several pundits tipped us to go out.

But in the end, we hardly missed him. And that’s great credit to the rest of the squad.

And it was also great credit to the lads that they had such a positive reaction to the poor showing in the first leg to turn the tie on its head.

Arsenal set their stall out with a virtually all-out-attacking mindset from the off and Porto just couldn’t cope with it. It was a typically high-tempo performance where Arsenal threw men forward at every opportunity.

It was entertaining to watch, and Arsenal created opening after opening.

Andrei Arshavin was having a hit an miss game – one minute doing something sublime and then carelessly losing the ball the next. But he was the one who was highly influential in Bendtner’s (and Arsenal’s) first two goals.

Nasri, who was my Man of the Match, played in Arshavin, who ran towards goal in a five way chase for the ball. No-one really won it and the ball bounced to Bendtner who stretched out and poked the ball into the net. The perfect start for Arsenal after 10 minutes.

Arshavin rinsed Porto’s right back Jorge Fucile for the second, by running to the byline and giving Bendtner an easy tap in.

After that, the game was Arsenal’s for the taking and Arshavin had a golden opportunity to top off a decent first half performance with Arsenal’s third but he hit his effort over the bar.

In the second half, it was Porto who had the better of the opening 10 minutes, with the tricky Radamel Falco having a decent effort saved by Almunia. Arsenal’s energy levels dipped after the break and Porto enjoyed more of the possession and also had a headed effort saved off the line by Nasri.

And it was Nasri who produced a moment of magic only minutes later.

He picked up the ball on the right hand side, coolly waltzed passed 5 or 6 Porto players before smashing the ball right into the far corner.

A moment of genius from the man who stepped up in the absence of Fabregas.

A stunning goal, and a decisive one.

Samir Nasri’s all round performance was outstanding. He ran his bollocks off chasing back and closing down players but also linked the play beautifully, showed great skill and touch as well as being dangerous going forward. And to top it all off he saved a header on the far post.

Pretty much a perfect performance from him.

Arsenal had Porto on the ropes at this point and they really rubbed salt into the wounds with a stunning counter attack.

From a Porto corner, the ball found its way to Arshavin who carried the ball 60 yards before playing in Eboue with a beautifully timed and weighted through pass. Eboue smartly knocked it passed the stranded Helton before slotting the ball into the net.

Game, set and match.

The game petered out slightly after that, but with seconds left on the clock the impressive Eboue won a penalty that Bendtner happily dispatched. The first Arsenal hattrick in Europe since Alan Smith’s back in the day.

Football’s a funny old game. With Bendtner missing those sitters against Burnley who would have bet he would get a hattrick against Porto? I honestly wasn’t concerned about his misses at the weekend and obviously Bendtner wasn’t either. Once the Dane scored that third goal I did think about all that nonsense between him and Adebayor a couple of seasons ago.

I wonder who’s having the last laugh now Ade?

Player Ratings

Manual Almunia: 7/10
Was asked to deal more with pass-backs than shots but dealt well with the few saves he had to make.

Bacary Sagna: 8/10
Tremendous energy levels and was virtually a winger in the Arsenal attacks. Dealt well with Varela and made some great tackles.

Sol Campbell: 7/10
Struggled at times tonight. Overall did okay, but at times couldn’t cope with the tricky Falco. One thing I did notice (and like) from Campbell was that he ignored every taunt or expression from opposing players. Whenever anything happened with a Porto attacker he would just get up and walk away. Brilliant!

Thomas Vermaelen: 9/10
Made some really stunning defensive blocks and Almunia will be grateful for those. Solid, composed and made some vital interceptions as well.

Gael Clichy: 8/10
Like Sagna, was instrumental in adding width to the Arsenal attacks. Supported Diaby and Arshavin well, and defended well on the whole. Did make one or two silly mistakes, but fortunately Arsenal weren’t punished.

Alex Song: 8/10
Made some great interceptions and tracked back well. Tarnished his performance slightly by trying to over-play now and then after winning the ball, which resulted in cheaply losing possession.

Abou Diaby: 8/10
Much improved work ethic this season and linked up well with Song, Nasri and the front three. Helped dominate the midfield which ultimately decided the tempo of the match.

Samir Nasri: 10/10
Just about perfect. Scored a stunning goal, saved a certain goal off the line and ran his socks off. Great desire and that was possibly the most impressive thing about his performance. All over the pitch and some of his touches were breathtaking. He was inspirational and he was instrumental in setting that high energy tempo which Porto couldn’t handle. A complete performance.

Andrei Arshavin: 7/10
It’s crazy to say this since he made 3 goals but he was on the periphery for most of the game. But I suppose with talent and skill like his it only takes a moment to show his brilliance.

Tomas Rosicky: 7/10
High energy performance and worked well for the team.

Nicklas Bendtner: 9/10
Fantastic performance from the Dane. He won countless headers, held the ball up well, showed great desire and scored 3 goals to boot. Showed character after his Jason Lee-esque finishing at the weekend but really put in a great shift against Porto. He is vital to whether Arsenal will win anything this season, so let’s hope he keeps this up.

Emmanuel Eboue: 8/10 (Replaced Rosicky 58′)
Only came on for a 30 minute cameo but was excellent. Show fantastic desire to score his goal and won the penalty for Bendtner’s third. Look dangerous whenever he got the ball and never carelessly gave away possession.

Denilson: 7/10 (Replaced Nasri 72′)
Slotted in midfield well but really wasn’t asked to do much.

Theo Walcott: 7/10 (Replaced Arshavin 76′)
Looked lively but couldn’t quite make the kind of impact he did at the weekend.


23 thoughts on “Stunning Nasri Destroys Porto (w/ Player Ratings)

  1. very proud of our players ,thats what a forward(nikki b 52) can actually do to a team , nasri was too good and even if we play rosicky in that role he would be good the team was wel balanced and we won go arsenal!!! go gooners!!!

  2. All in all a solid performance from over player on the team

    We had one of the best games of the season and this time I can truly agree with Wenger that we were in total control of the match for atleast 80 mins.
    If Arsenal can make this game a benchmark than we are almost impossible to stop.

  3. I am sorry but these are rubbish ratings.

    Arshavin does 3 assists and get the same rating as Rosicky , Campbell & Almunia?

    There is no way Sagna or Vermalen deserve such high ratings either.

    And while I agree that Nasri had a very good game its not a 10 on 10 performance. He struggled a bit with injury and scored the goal after a long period of inactivity.

    I know that we are all happy with the win but I think you got carried away mate.

  4. BENDTNER’S hat trick aint nuthin’ coz he jst had to tap the ball into the net, trust me he wil continue to miss chances, NASRI was Superb, and ARSHAVIN jst pops up at ryt times,he can b inactive and frm nowhere he bangs it or he assists, EBOUE is bcoming a threat to opponents.

  5. without taking away anything from a great Score.. I think 5-0 was very flattering , at 2-0 we were very very shaky and against a better team would have been punished with sloppy passing from Song , Arshavin , Diaby & Sagna putting huge pressure on a nervous looking Campbell who plays well against big forwards but really struggles with quick skillful players and needs help not the Goodies infront of him…
    That said Porto are no pushovers and good to see Bendtner answer the critics, hope now he pushes on and fires us to a long awaited title..

  6. When Arshavin said on the week-end that Bendtner was saving his goals for Porto game i thought he was just teasing him, BUT at the end well said.

    Go!!!!!! goones!!!!!!!

  7. i think vamaelen deserves that rating,he was responsible for all the dirty work in the defence,however arshavin deserves better for his brilliance. he may be quiet at some period but was the major threat and therefore deserves more rating than theo, cambell, rosisky and skipo. nasri was brilliant but a 10/10 is rather too flattering. haven said that, i think this is about the whole team and not individual performance. kudos to the back four for not conceding any goal.if we continue in this mood, our tittle drought might just be coming to an end. lets put this behind us and not get carried away,our weekend game at hull can be very trickish.we have to continue in this beautiful run of form

  8. well performance , wonderful tallent of Arshavin, desessive and impressive playing of Nasri , wondefrful tackling and defending of VERMALEEN and a good performance of the team in general lead arsenal to impressive victory. I f arse will continue as such there is a great oportunity to be the champion in both the premierleague and champions league…., in tuesdays champion league it was seen that there are many tallented Fabregase’s.

  9. I think Arshavin did well than the ratting 7/10, he was the factor for the three goals 1st two by bendtner and one by Eboue. he was also the most difficult to handle for porto players, infact he showed two carless finishing opportunites but he did well. nasri did well but I believe that not better than Vermaleen. 10/10 means he was perfect this is a little exaguaration he must improve more and more. song was very crucial in tackling ,meddiating & defending as well I think he did better than this rate.but in general every one show a great desire and performance I am proud of arsena.

  10. I think vermaelen deserves a 9 too, he did everything correct today, and blocked every single attempt they had at our goal, one of the best signings ever!!

    For me the worst player for us today was song. He was sloppy in his passing and lost the ball far too often after he had won one. Still i think he deserves a 7 so that says alot about how good everyone played today.

    I think Campbell deserves a lot of praise on his performance as well. So extremely funny to see every porto player fall to the ground only by touching him,haha.

    Now focus 100% on the next game against hull and win it! Save Fabregas for that one as well, so we make sure he is 100% when we meet tottenham and city.

  11. Diaby and Song worked tirelessly and at 100mph last night, along with the rest of the team. Those two did the hard work in the middle which allowed Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, Bendtner to to their stuff.

    Awsome night for us!

  12. vintage arsenal!!! – that’s what made opponents fear us – great attacking & taking the chances that we create. we need to keep this form up in the league. UCL is capable of producing anything – especially in the QF.
    NASRI – capable of wearing of taking Zidanes role if he continues learning & producing every game – brilliant 1st touch!!

  13. Arsenal were good last night, but encouragingly I don’t think Arsenal were at their best.

    I believe that Arsenal can play even better that that and when you consider they murdered Porto 5-0 then other teams in the Champions League should be worried.

    We gave Porto a big advantage in the first leg and we still qualified with ease!

    Very pleased and the boys are hitting form at the right time!

  14. @Xtassy, what is your problem, mate? Are you so in love with ripping into Bendtner that you can’t be happy when the lad scores a hat-trick? Personally, if I’m down on an Arsenal player, I’m happy to be proved wrong. You sound like a Totts supporter.

  15. Football is all about opinions and I think you got it just about spot on, I might add if Eboue keeps on playing the way he is surely he’s going to give the Boss a real headache because he wont be able to leave him out of the team, also another couple of games and Clichy will be back to his best.

  16. Campbell has also been under rated. Why are we fans yet to understand that Campbell and not only vermaeleen are d best thing that happened to our defence this season? Sol has been in no doubt really impressive

  17. nasri was amazing,he will be the best player!!! in the planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.I was glad by his miraclous goal.

  18. I’m not sure about your ratings. Bendtner’s first 2 were tap ins that Arshavin had accidentally delivered on a plate (for the 1st) then deliberately delivered on a plate (for the 2nd) and the 3rd was a penna that I could score quite frankly. Nasri was unreal, Arshavin is a strange character to watch. When things aren’t going his way instead of trying harder he either kicks the opponents or gets very casual on the ball and gives it away a lot.
    I noticed that Campbell has a tendency of getting the ball when we’re under pressure, taking the ball partially upfield and then drawing a foul. Just like Ljungberg when he was past it and on borrowed time at the club. It’s a slightly dishonest tactic but it works. Big Tom was immense as usual and his booking was shocking as the Portugese did worse and got away with it. Brilliant game all in all though, they’re on about Fabregas being 50/50 for the weekend but if there’s any doubt we should rest him or put him on the bench just in case Hull pull a decent performance out of their arse. With the team we played last night Hull should be a walkover. Definately!

  19. Arshavin is a luxury player. Which is exactly what we need. A player that can keep loosing the ball, then BAMM he scores or does something special.

    Love him!

    Also Love Nasri at the moment.


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