English Premiership

Gunners down Man City

2009-04-04 18:23
Cesc

London - Cesc Fabregas made a dream return for Arsenal by setting up Emmanuel Adebayor's double in Saturday's 2-0 win over Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Spanish midfielder Fabregas has missed the last three months with a knee injury but he showed no signs of rustiness by laying on both Adebayor's goals as the Togo striker confirmed his own return to fitness.

With England winger Theo Walcott also impressing on his return to action, Arsenal look in ominous form as the season approaches its decisive final weeks.

This victory tightened the club's grip on fourth place in the Premier League and the scouts from Villarreal - Arsenal's opponents in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday - will have departed for Spain sporting furrowed brows.

Diminished his status


City, meanwhile, seem no nearer banishing their reputation as English football's Jekyll and Hyde. Masterly at home, wretched away, Mark Hughes's side are still bewitching and infuriating their fans in equal measure.

Adebayor's goals may have been decisive, but there was only ever one player whose return was guaranteed to raise the roof at the Emirates - the mercurial Fabregas.

This has been the most trying season of the midfielder's career, marred by a loss of form, a serious injury and, of course, the notorious spitting spat with Hull assistant manager Brian Horton.

But none of that has diminished his status in the red half of north London.

Fabregas remains the team's talisman and he emphasised the point in his programme notes, where he vowed to shrug off the speculation over a possible move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Beside himself

"I'm very happy at Arsenal and have said it many times," he wrote. "I'm proud to be captain of this club and I see my future with Arsenal."

That provided Arsenal's fans with a welcome boost and they were singing their idol's name after just eight minutes when he set up Adebayor's opening goal.

After Robinho conceded a needless foul on Bacary Sagna five yards from the visitors' by-line, Fabregas chipped the resultant free-kick straight on to Adebayor's head and the Togolese's effort bounced past Shay Given.

For City, it was a nightmare start. A side with just one away league win to their name all season cannot afford to gift goal-starts to teams of Arsenal's quality and Hughes must have been beside himself with frustration.

His plans had already been shredded by Wayne Bridge hobbling off early on but, despite that, his team still made Arsenal wobble.

In the 27th minute, Shaun Wright-Phillips capped an exhilarating burst with a slide-rule pass for Micah Richards, whose shot brought a fine save from Manuel Almunia.

But the Spanish goalkeeper should have been picking the ball out of his net moments later when another slick move saw Wright-Phillips tee up substitute Gelson Fernandes. The Swiss had simply to pick his spot and fire City level, but his snatched effort merely clipped the outside of the post.

Collected the pass

Arsenal could have made Fernandes pay for that miss in first-half stoppage time, when Andrei Arshavin and Alex Song exchanged passes, only for Given to produce a superb sprawling save from the Russian's low shot.

But City's reprieve was temporary. Four minutes into the second half, Fabregas again showcased his superb vision by picking out Adebayor with a lofted ball over Richard Dunne. The striker collected the pass, nonchalantly rounded Given and rolled the ball into the empty net.

With the game won, Arsenal eased up. Adebayor and Walcott were both withdrawn as Wenger turned one eye to Tuesday and all that was left was the standing ovation for Fabregas, which duly came when he made way for Aaron Ramsey in the closing stages.

 

NEXT ON SPORT24X

ASEC beat Chiefs 'B' team

2014-04-20 18:12

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
26 April 2014
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Fulham v Hull City, Craven Cottage 16:00
Swansea City v Aston Villa, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United, The Hawthorns 16:00
Manchester United v Norwich City, Old Trafford 18:30
27 April 2014
Sunderland v Cardiff City, Stadium of Light 13:00
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 15:05
Crystal Palace v Manchester City, Selhurst Park 17:10
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.