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SBF Official Arsenal Football Club 2010/2011 season Thread


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Arsenal star Walcott ruled out for up to six weeks

 

Arsenal have confirmed that an ankle injury sustained on international duty with England will keep Theo Walcott sidelined for between four and six weeks.

 

Walcott turned over on his right ankle in the early stages of England's 3-1 win over Switzerland and was stretchered off before being taken to hospital for scans on the problem.

 

Arsene Wenger now admits that with Nicklas Bendtner still out for "three to four weeks" and Robin van Persie absent until the end of October, his attacking options have been hit further by the loss of Walcott.

 

The news comes as a cruel blow to a player who has suffered extensively with injury problems in recent seasons, but had scored four goals in his past two appearances for the Gunners.

 

"The tackle looked quite bad," Wenger said. "When you see how it turned his ankle I thought it would be three or four days or it would be four to six weeks. Unfortunately it will be four to six weeks.

 

"We had some good news about the scan because at some stage we were scared it could be worse. But overall it is a question of patience and rehabilitation."

 

Arsenal confirmed on Tuesday that an ankle injury sustained by Van Persie in a 2-1 win over Blackburn was more serious than first feared. "That is bad news," Wenger said of Van Persie's injury. "At the start we were optimistic. Maybe a bit too much, thinking it would be one or two weeks. But the damage was bigger than expected and he will be four to six weeks."

 

However, Johan Djourou, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci should all be available for Saturday's game against Bolton, while French midfielder Samir Nasri is close to returning to first-team action after undergoing knee surgery.

 

"He could even be involved against Bolton," Wenger said. "He has had a very good preparation and joins in [training] tomorrow. If needed I will integrate him in the squad for Bolton but for sure he will be back for our first Champions League game against Braga."

Why so serious?

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Irresistible Gunners cruise past Braga

 

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas scored twice as Arsene Wenger's entertainers handed Champions League newcomers Braga a European masterclass with a 6-0 demolition at the Emirates Stadium.

 

The Gunners had chalked up 1,000 Premier League goals under Wenger in the 4-1 rout of Bolton here on Saturday, and continued their fine form as the Portuguese debutants were taken apart by some quite breathtaking, and clinical, football.

 

Fabregas, who now looks back to his best after helping Spain win the World Cup, opened the scoring from the penalty spot after just eight minutes before a quickfire double from Andrei Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh made it 3-0 by half-time.

 

Arsenal - unbeaten in their opening four Premier League games and just two points behind leaders Chelsea - kept their foot on the accelerator, with Fabregas heading in number four and substitute Carlos Vela chalking up a late brace.

 

While sterner tests will lie ahead for Wenger's side, both at home and in Europe, the young Gunners showed again this could just be the season they finally come of age.

 

Wenger, still with plenty to say about Stuart Attwell's performance in the Premier League win over Bolton, had talked about the different style of European refereeing in the build-up to the match.

 

However, the Gunners boss will no doubt have been just as unimpressed by Luxembourg official Alain Hamer's early decision not to award what appeared a penalty after Fabregas was bundled over by Paulo Cesar in the opening exchanges.

 

Arsenal, though, were soon in full flow as Fabregas released Jack Wilshere into the Braga box, only for the youngster to be halted by a marginal offside flag.

 

The hosts, however, did not have to wait long to take the lead. Fabregas was again the creator, slipping Chamakh ahead of the static Braga backline. The Moroccan, who has impressed since his summer arrival on a free transfer from Bordeaux, sidestepped keeper Felipe, only to be brought crashing down.

 

The Arsenal captain stepped up to dispatch the resulting penalty - celebrating his first goal of a season which could well have started at Barcelona by kissing the badge in front of the Clock End faithful.

 

It was almost 2-0 moments later when Arshavin combined with Fabregas to tee up Wilshere, but his close-range shot was well saved.

 

Braga - nicknamed 'Arsenal do Minho' because the clubs share the same home colours - boasted six Brazilians in their starting XI, although none had a full international cap.

 

Nevertheless, a team which had knocked out both Celtic and experienced campaigners Sevilla en route to Europe's elite for the first time deserved some respect.

 

Cesar's deflected effort forced Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia to make a reaction save, before Alan scampered away down the right ahead of Fabregas but his low cross flew through the six-yard box.

 

Slowly, Arsenal began to get back on top and it was no surprise when Arshavin made it 2-0 on the half-hour. The Russian had missed some straightforward chances against Bolton, but made no mistake this time when driving an angled shot under the keeper after being played into the left side of the Braga penalty area.

 

Before the visitors could regroup, they were further behind.

 

Another sweeping Arsenal move saw the ball worked across field and to the edge of the 18-yard box. Arshavin's chip picked out Chamakh, who played a neat one-two with Wilshere and swept the ball into the net.

 

The interval offered little respite to Braga, who went 4-0 down at the start of the second half when Fabregas headed in Arshavin's chip to the far post.

 

The Gunners captain was then denied a hat-trick by the deftest of touches from keeper Felipe and an acrobatic goalline clearance by Moises.

 

As the hour mark passed, and with one eye on Saturday's trip to Sunderland, Wenger replaced Chamakh and defensive midfielder Alex Song, as Carlos Vela and Denilson came on.

 

Arsenal remained dominant as Arshavin rattled the base of the post with a fierce angled drive, this time cutting in from the right. The Russian then unselfishly played in Vela, who dispatched a neat chip into the far corner for his second goal in as many games.

 

Arshavin was also given a break, Emmanuel Eboue coming on for the final 20 minutes, as the Gunners coasted to another impressive victory, with Fabregas setting up Vela to slot home number six five minutes from time.

 

:thumb::thumb::thumb:

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Gunners make it two wins from two

 

Arsenal recorded their first European away win in a year as they beat 10-man Partizan Belgrade 3-1 in Serbia to maintain their 100% start in Champions League Group H.

 

After surviving a power failure which forced the team to change in the dark and an intense atmosphere during the opening exchanges, the Gunners, who had six changes from the side beaten by West Brom at home on Saturday, went ahead in the 15th minute through Andrey Arshavin.

 

However, after wasting several more chances, the visitors were made to pay when Brazil-born striker Cleo levelled from the penalty spot after a handball by Denilson.

 

Partizan then had Marko Jovanovic sent off for hauling down Marouane Chamakh on 55 minutes, but Arshavin missed his penalty. However, Moroccan striker Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci secured victory - with stand-in keeper Lukasz Fabianski saving a late spot-kick.

 

Power was restored, and then failed in the main stand again just as the teams walked out to a cacophony of noise at Stadion FK Partizan, which was transformed into a sea of black and white as the 'Gravediggers' threw paper and waved flags, unveiling a banner declaring: "You have been run over by a steamroller.''

 

The Serbians have a chequered history of crowd trouble, thrown out of the 2007-08 UEFA Cup while in September last year, a Toulouse fan died in hospital after being injured following violence in a bar ahead of the two sides' Europa League tie.

 

Indeed, Partizan went as far as issuing a plea for calm on their own website ahead of tonight's game.

 

Wenger, though, maintained his men should be able to cope with such an intimidating atmosphere, and so it proved.

 

The Gunners, playing in yellow, made a positive start, as Jack Wilshere was pressed up in support of lone frontman Chamakh.

 

The home fans, though, were screaming for a penalty when Pierre Boya went down under close attention from Johan Djourou, but German referee Wolfgang Stark was having none of it.

 

Cleo then tripped over as he got clear into the left side of the Arsenal box, with Denilson sliding in to make a saving tackle as Nemanja Tomic looked to capitalise on the loose ball.

 

Fabianski needed two attempts to gather a hesitant header back to him from Squillaci as Boya looked to nip in on goal.

 

Cleo was lively, dispossessing Djourou on the right before cutting in to blast over from 20 yards.

 

However, the home side were stunned on 15 minutes as Arsenal snatched the lead. Wilshere charged at the defence and when his path was blocked, the England youngster had the presence of mind to back-heel the ball into the path of Arshavin, who drilled his shot into the bottom corner.

 

The Russian almost grabbed a second when put into the penalty area, but Partizan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic was out quickly.

 

Stojkovic denied Tomas Rosicky, before Jovanovic cleared Arshavin's goal-bound chip.

 

Arsenal paid the penalty for missing so many chances though when Denilson needlessly stuck his arm out as Radosav Petrovic delivered the ball into the box after half an hour. Cleo sent Fabianski - in for the injured Manuel Almunia - the wrong way to level.

 

Arsenal had an early chance at the start of the second half following a driving run by Alex Song, with the ball breaking to Rosicky on the right and his angled drive was well held by the goalkeeper.

 

Partizan were reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute when Jovanovic was shown a red card for tripping Chamakh as the Moroccan latched onto Arshavin's through ball. Arshavin took the penalty himself - only to blast it straight at the goalkeeper.

 

On 69 minutes, the lively Arshavin was again denied, this time when Stojkovic made a good stop at the near post.

 

Moments later, though, and it was 2-1. Rosicky floated the ball in from the right and Chamakh headed goalwards. Stojkovic touched the ball onto the crossbar but the Arsenal striker was first to the rebound, nodding the ball into an empty net.

 

With eight minutes left, Squillaci headed in a corner from substitute Samir Nasri to make it 3-1. There was late drama, though, when Kieran Gibbs was adjudged to have tripped Ivan Stevanovic in the penalty area, but this time Fabianski produced a brilliant save to deny Cleo.

 

The Pole then capped a confident display with another acrobatic stop from Ivica Iliev in stoppage time.

 

:thumb::thumb::thumb:

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