Brilliant Samir Nasri Thumps Porto: Does Arsenal Need Fabregas Anymore?
Samir Nasri silenced all his critics with last week's Burnley game. But against Porto it was a different stage. A big European night and the biggest stage to showcase your talents. Samir Nasri grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and Fabregas' absence wasn't even felt. He actually played better than Fabregas. His solo goal was the pick of the night. Maybe Arjen Robben scored a better goal in Florence.
Nasri showed why he's tagged as the "New Zizou" during his playing career at French club Marseille. Fabregas' injury turned out to be a boon for Nasri, which allowed him to play in his most comfortable and favored position in midfield.
Nasri created the first goal with a brilliant through pass. It was a wicked ball and difficult for defenders to deal with. Arshavin tried to apply the finishing touch, but it was Bendtner's night to showcase his finishing abilities. Guarin's last-ditch tackle wasn't enough to stop the goal. The ball fell nicely for Bendtner, and he slotted it home. Although Bendtner scored a hat-trick, his ball control and first touches were poor. He easily gave the ball away when Arsenal had the possession. But players around him played some sensational football and made his work easy.
Back to Nasri. It was a mind-boggling performance. He hassled the opposition and went in for the tackles, virtually dictating the play from the midfield.
His defensive works were noteworthy too. At 2-0, Nasri saved a certain goal. He was present at the far-post to defend against a corner, and the ball exactly came off his body. In fact, he stopped it from going over the line.
Arsenal's third goal was brilliant. It was pure class and quality. Nasri slalomed past three defenders and fired in from a narrow angle. Hapless Helton stood and watched the ball going in off the far-post. It was an unbelievable goal. That goal settled the game. It came at the crucial time when Porto was looking good to score. Nasri was later substituted, and it was a job well done when he received the applause that he deserved, probably his best game in the Arsenal jersey so far.
Finally, If Fabregas returns to Barcelona, it wouldn't hurt Arsenal much. Nasri showed that he can step in and perform even better than the Arsenal captain. He wouldn't play similar football on the flanks because he's not a winger by any set of imagination. He's a playmaker and not a winger, but his amazing pace enables him to play on the wings, and Wenger had no choice but to play him on the flanks so far in his Arsenal career.
After this performance, Wenger is in a bemusing situation. It would be better to play both Nasri and Fabregas in midfield. Having said that, Diaby and Song are enjoying their best season. So it's a tough choice. Fabregas will be back by next week, and Nasri will be forced out on the flanks again. However, he's surely set to become the next big thing at Arsenal.
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