Wenger promised changes following the lacklustre display against Hull, but in the end the only change was Nasri for Eboue, thus allowing his embattled players one last chance to show what they are capable of doing. They responded with an emphatic victory and a very good performance.
Arsenal started the match well and could have had three goals early on with Walcott, twice and van Persie all coming close from great passes from Fabregas. The fans settle d back expecting Arsenal to take full control, but it was Porto who came closest to scoring, hitting the bar and having one shot cleared off the line by Clichy. The fans and the defence looked nervous as Porto attacked sped and gusto.
It was against the run of play that Arsenal took the lead, Adebayor ran onto a ball, and he was onside for once, as the keeper came out to, Adebayor crossed the ball and van Persie was first to react to score. There was great relief all round the ground, and relief was soon to be joy as Arsenal managed to score from a corner. Having dispensed with the short corner, van Persie crossed for Adebayor to score his first goal at the Emirates this season.
The second half started with Walcott being a nuisance for the Proto defence, if they showed him the outside, he sprinted past them as if they were not there, showing him the inside was suicide.
Van Persie made it three soon after the interval, running into the box and poking the ball beyond the keeper. There were opportunities to add a fourth, the best falling to Walcott who after some good work by Toure was presented with a simple tap-in, but he managed to screw his shot wide.
Wenger took off van Persie and Nasri to protect them for Saturday and sent on Bendtner and Eboue, who was greeted with jeers. Walcott was soon to make way for Carlos Vela who was greeted as a conquering hero.
Arsenal’s fourth came from a penalty that was rightly awarded after Bendtner had his legs taken way from him, allowing Adebayor to slot home his second of the night.
The fans were then treated to some delightful football, with a great mazy run by Vela being the highlight, whilst a series of step-overs that led to nothing from Eboue had the crowd in stitches. Both Eboue and Adebayor had opportunities to add a fifth, but 4-0 it remained.
The display and result were great, especially against our toughest opponents in the group. There was confidence in the team once the first goal had gone in. Gallas has been criticised by many people, but had an outstanding game
Line up: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Toure, Clichy; Walcott (Vela), Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri (Eboue); van Persie (Bendtner, Adebayor – subs not used : Fabianski; Djourou, Silvestre, Ramsey