As far as returns from year-long absences go, Eduardo’s wasn’t all that bad, was it? A 60-minute performance full of zest and zip and many other things starting with ‘Z’ was capped off with two goals as the Brazilian returned from his leg break to help Arsenal to a 4-0 win over Cardiff last night.
In brief (and it will have to be very brief, I’m still feeling quite awful) this was exactly the sort of result and performance that Arsene Wenger would have wanted. Goals galore, a clean sheet, Eduardo getting through his return safely and a number of fringe-players putting in strong performances. Aside from Eduardo, the obvious standout, Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela looked sharp and Kieran Gibbs looked lively at left-back.
In truth we won the game because of both our efforts and Cardiff’s lackthereof. To put it frankly, they were awful, a shadow of the side that caused us all sorts of trouble in the first edition of this tie. They lacked spark up front, were dominated by Alex Song and Denilson in the middle – and that’s saying something – and were a shambles defensively. That Eduardo and Bendtner both scored with headers says as much about Cardiff’s fallibility as it did about our attack.
But this was Eduardo’s night and he was magnificent. His characteristic nippy style and decisive finishing was a joy to watch and it’s wonderful to have him back. His celebrations after both goals showed how much they meant; the first a silent fist-pump and celebration with the other Latin Americans in the team and the second a special moment shared with Tony Colbert, the man who oversaw his rehabilitation. That he later described it as ‘the greatest day in my life’ says it all.
All-in-all, a picture perfect night for the side. Confidence restored and a fans’ favourite back on the scoresheet. Great stuff.
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