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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
Arsenal 3-0 Sevilla
By Julian Shea

Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas has scored more goals so far this season than all last year
Arsenal made a confident start to their Champions League campaign with a comfortable win over Sevilla.

Cesc Fabregas' shot deflected in off Julien Escude to put Arsenal ahead at the break, with Jesus Navas and Freddie Kanoute going close for the visitors.

Robin van Persie made it 2-0, tapping in from Fabregas's free-kick and Sevilla never threatened to come back.

Eduardo sealed the points in injury time with a cool finish after good work by Alexander Hleb and Fabregas.

The Champions League debutants showed they were not daunted by the occasion when Navas's long-range shot fizzed just over the top of Manuel Almunia's goal.

But having survived this early scare, Arsenal went on the attack themselves, calling Sevilla keeper Andres Palop into action twice in quick succession.

First, Van Persie drifted across the boundary of the box before his off-balance shot forced Palop to flap the ball clear.

Shortly afterwards, Palop spilled Flamini's daisy-cutter shot but redeemed himself by pouncing at the feet of Emmanuel Adebayor who was following up.

606: DEBATE

Palop could hardly be blamed when Fabregas put Arsenal ahead, as he looked to have the shot covered until the deflection off Escude sent the ball to the opposite corner of the net.

Tomas Rosicky limped off shortly after the restart as the game took a while to get going in the second half, but just as Arsenal were starting to feel a one-goal lead was not enough, the second goal came along.

Fabregas curled in a free-kick from the left after a foul on Flamini, and Bakary Sagna's flicked header put it right on the foot of van Persie, who thumped it into the roof of the net from two yards out.

Adebayor's physical presence caused the visitors problems all night, and he came within inches of making it 3-0 with a superb diving header from Sagna's curling cross which shaved the outside of the post.

Arsenal's lead was never seriously under threat, and even when Daniel Alves did manage to curl over a rare cross from the right, the impressive Sagna was first to the ball to clear the danger.

Deep into stoppage time, substitute Eduardo put the icing on the cake with a close-range tap-in after the visiting defence was pulled apart by Hleb and Fabregas.


  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

  • "We were maybe a bit lucky on the first goal but we were completely in control in the second half, after we'd had more of a game in the first.

    "I feel sometimes we could improve in the final ball, we lost some we shouldn't have done and made two or three defensive mistakes.

    "As long as the attitude is right and the players want to improve you can always get better.

    "The challenge for the team is not only to play well tonight, but every three days."


    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Diaby 50), Adebayor (Eduardo 83), Van Persie (Diarra 88). Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Denilson, Silva, Walcott.

    Booked: Adebayor.

    Goals: Escude 28 og, Van Persie 59, Eduardo 90.

    Sevilla: Palop, Daniel, Fazio, Escude, Dragutinovic, Jesus Navas, Poulsen, Marti (Keita 66), Diego Capel (Renato 66), Luis Fabiano (Kerzhakov 46), Kanoute. Subs Not Used: De Sanctis, Duda, Boulahrouz, Maresca.

    Booked: Daniel, Keita.

    Att: 60,000

    Ref: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden).

    SEE ALSO
    Champions League photos
    19 Sep 07 |  Europe
    Champions League as it happened
    19 Sep 07 |  Europe


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