Wenger may have been fuming when we drew our initial cup tie at Orient, but after Sunday’s calamity he was probably glad of the opportunity to get the Birmingham result out of our system with a simple home game. And that’s the way it turned out, with a 5-0 stroll at the Emirates restoring some confidence to the shell-shocked side, not least Chamakh with his first goal of 2011 and more importantly, a hat-trick for van Persie’s probable replacement Nicklas Bendtner. Mind you, for a lad not usually short on self belief, the treble would’ve only confirmed Bendtner’s opinion that he’s the best striker in the world.
The early goal did the trick, unsettling a nervous Orient even more and allowing us to relax and enjoy the game. We weren’t closed down, possession was given back to us cheaply on many occasions and we took advantage, notching up the handsome win we could’ve had in the first game had we applied ourselves. Rosicky did well to run at the defence and cut the ball back into a dangerous area for Chamakh to slot home from six yards.
Soon after a looping Bendtner header made it 2-0. He can score some terrific headers if the service is right (Stoke away last season springs to mind) so with van Persie out for three weeks I expect to see more crosses from the full backs towards Bendtner. It’s much more sensible than playing it into his feet as his touch is not that great and he can’t link play as well as Robin.
"Messi doesn't score goals like this, I'm so much better than that little twat"
Bendtner’s second just before the break was also excellent, demonstrating he has a good shot when allowed three touches to get the ball under control. Better defenders don’t usually allow him that luxury, but he took advantage well.
The second half was a formality and I was pleased to see we didn’t ease off, settling for 3-0. A good run from Gibbs reminded us he was a winger in his youth and he drew a foul for Bendtner to complete his hattrick with a well-taken penalty. Clichy put the icing on the cake with a terrific shot for number five – see how they can shoot when there’s no pressure! Usually he’d have controlled it and tried to find Wilshere on the 6 yard box, but he thought ‘It’s 4-0, it doesn’t matter if this decapitates someone behind the goal, I’m letting rip’. What a shame we don’t do that more often instead of trying to walk it in every time.
What with Man Utd’s defeat 24 hours previously the mood has changed and if we can beat Sunderland on Saturday to close the gap to just one point, Sunday will be just a bad memory.
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