Arsenal 4-0 Cardiff City

Eduardo scored a brace on his return to help Arsenal to victory

Arsenal eased their way into the 5th round of the FA Cup on Monday with a more than comfortable victory over a poor Cardiff City side who only had two shots in the game.

Arsene Wenger rotated the squad with van Persie on the bench and Eduardo playing his first game in almost a year. This proved to be a masterstroke as Arsenal dominated every minute of the game and Eduardo scored a deserved goal. He played a fine pass to fringe player Carlos Vela, the Mexican international then beautifully crossed the ball for Eduardo to head home Arsenal’s first.

The second came from another fringe player Nicklas Bendtner. He converted Samir Nasri’s corner with a well taken header and Arsenal were comfortably 2-0 up.

Just before half time however, Vela’s powerful shot was saved by Tom Heaton and the ball came to Nicklas Bendtner to give Arsenal a three goal lead but hit the post and then the rebound was saved by the keeper. A truly shocking miss which thankfully didn’t come back to haunt the Dane.

Eduardo completed his brace 51 weeks after breaking his leg with a calmly taken penalty. Rae clumsily fouled Eduardo and then the Croatian slotted home Arsenal’s third, running to celebrate with the fitness coach who helped him return sooner than expected.

And to round off the win, Robin van Persie fired the ball past Tom Heaton from a fine Nicklas Bendtner through ball to send Arsenal into the fifth round. It could have been five right at the death when van Persie hit the post when it was easier to score. But, with the score at 4-0, even the usually grumpy Wenger could afford to smile at the shockingness of the miss.

Cardiff fans will be delighted that they only lost 4-0, they could have so easily been Slavia Pragued.

Arsenal will face Burnley at home on either 7 March or 8 March. If they can get past the Carling Cup semi-finalists the will face Sheffield United or Hull City at Emirates Stadium. If they win against either Sheffield United or Hull City they will go through to the semis.

Eduardo described the game as “the best day of my life - it was a special moment to score, very emotional,”

“I celebrated by kissing my wedding ring - because my wife and daughter and family supported me through this.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with Eduardo’s performance. He said “Everybody is very happy for him. This is the kind of game we love to play, and it was good to see them play with the handbrake off,”

“He played a big part in that, and I’m very pleased for him.

“He’s been extremely strong mentally. I’ve never seen one minute of doubt in his mind, not one minute where he said ‘I don’t want to do this’.

“He is always wanting more. This guy is small but he has the mental strength of a mountain.”

Eduardo, who came off with a slight hamstring strain midway through the second half, is set to feature heavily in Wenger’s plans in the run-in.

“We’ll know at the end of the season how important his comeback is, but I’m very happy to have him back,” added the Frenchman.

“He can play as a striker, on the flank, behind the striker, up front on his own. That is important for us.”

I said in the match preview that this was the most important game so far this season, and that we had to win. So, it’s a good job we did. Next up in the cup is Burnley. I’m sure all Arsenal fans will be hoping for a similar scoreline and performance as tonight’s game when Burnley visit the greatest stadium in the world in a few weeks time.

3 Responses to “Arsenal 4-0 Cardiff City”

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