Champions League - Arsenal too strong for Sevilla


Cesc Fabregas scored one and set up two more as Arsenal overwhelmed UEFA Cup holders Sevilla 3-0 as they opened their Champions League Group H campaign with an impressive victory at the Emirates Stadium.

After Fabregas' deflected 27th minute effort, Robin van Persie made it 2-0 in the 59th before substitute Eduardo da Silva slid home the third in stoppage time just minutes after coming on.

Fabregas's long-range strike appeared to be going wide until it took an emphatic deflection off Julien Escude and went in.

Van Persie then scored from close range after Bacary Sagna flicked on a Fabregas free-kick before the Spanish schemer gave Croat striker Eduardo the simplest of tap-ins after Federico Fazio gifted away possession.

It was Sevilla's first match at this level since they played in the old European Cup some 50 years ago and despite playing their usual high tempo game, they rarely troubled the home side.

Indeed they almost went behind after 13 minutes when Andres Palop spilled Mathieu Flamini's fizzing drive but the keeper just got to the rebound ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor.

And although Fabregas' goal had a large slice of fortune, Arsene Wenger's men could easily have extended the lead before the break.

Tomas Rosicky's corner found Kolo Toure eight yards out but Escude did just enough to force the Ivorian to push his header past the post.

Terrific play from Adebayor followed as he outwitted Federico Fazio on the left flank but his final effort screwed off the outside of his boot.

Former Tottenham man Frederic Kanoute stung Manuel Almunia's palms with a fizzing shot and came close to latching onto Christian Poulsen's chip just before the interval but the Spanish side slipped further behind after some poor defending.

Fabregas' delivery was spot on and when the ball reached van Persie unmarked six yards out, he slashed the ball into the net.

Sevilla's best chance came five minutes later as Philippe Senderos only managed to deflect a cross from the right into Jose Luis Marti's path but the midfielder couldn't untangle his feet and failed get a shot on goal from six yards.

A rampaging run from the impresive Sagna resulted in Adebayor's flicked header landing just inches away from the far corner but after Kanoute spurned another decent chance, Wenger's men sealed the game with Eduardo's strike.
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