Arsenal Transfer News: Andrei Arshavin's 5 Best Moments for the Gunners
Though his presence in the squad has been limited in recent times, Arshavin once stole the hearts of the Arsenal faithful with displays of sublime skill.
The following five slides highlight his best moments for the club, from the spectacular to the outrageous.
Though his time spent at the Emirates can hardly be considered a success, there is no doubt that Arshavin will be missed.
5. Arsenal vs. Blackburn, 2009
Fans thought they had witnessed Arshavin's debut goal earlier in the same game, only for that strike to be credited as an own goal.
Arshavin was determined to score his first for the club, though, and this strike was all his own work.
After skipping past a helpless defender, Arshavin tiptoed the end line and lifted the ball into the roof of the net. His tight dribbling and confident finish quickly reminded supporters why Wenger had opened up the checkbook to sign the lad.
When at his best, Arshavin could dribble and finish with the best of them.
4. Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid, 2009
An incredible burst of speed and a remarkable finish—this goal required both pace and composure.
It appeared his first touch was too heavy and the chance had gone, but the little dynamo turned on the jets and saved the day. Arshavin reached the ball right at the touchline, from where he somehow managed to scoop it into the net to defeat Atletico Madrid.
Though just a preseason game, a 90th minute winner of such impressive quality and difficulty is worthy of the No. 4 spot on this list.
3. Arsenal vs. Liverpool, 2010
What a strike.
Arshavin played the hero at Anfield for the second time in his career, securing a 2-1 victory over Liverpool and pushing Arsenal into third place in the table.
A seemingly harmless ball played into the box by Cesc Fabregas was met with a lovely first touch and a rocket shot into the top corner. Pepe Reina could only watch as the powerful strike flew into the net.
The commentary by Andy Gray says it all: "I don't care if you've got three Pepe Reina's in that goal, you're not saving that!"
2. Arsenal vs. Barcelona, 2011
Any time a team beats Barcelona, the world takes notice.
Arsenal hosted the eventual Champions League winners in the spring of 2011 and pulled off the upset at the Emirates.
Despite going down a goal, Arsenal were pulled back into the game by Robin van Persie, setting up a marvelous conclusion to the contest.
Arsenal soaked up pressure from the Catalan club before Samir Nasri was sprung free by Cesc Fabregas and his magic right foot. The counterattack was swift and clinical, as Nasri played the ball across the face of goal to an oncoming Andrei Arshavin.
The forward met the ball and curled it around Eric Abidal and into the net. On as a substitute, Arshavin gave the team just what it needed, sending the fans into ecstasy as Arsenal completed the improbable comeback.
1. Arsenal vs. Liverpool, 2009
Andrei Arshavin at Anfield. What more is there to say?
Arshavin was simply on another level this game and scored an incredible four times. The playmaker was in his first season with the club and became an instant hero after this performance.
Although Liverpool managed to score four and the game ended in a draw, it was wild to watch Arshavin repeatedly find ways to finish. His celebrations after each goal indicated that even he was surprised to notch four on the night.
His last goal reflects his true quality.
After Theo Walcott burst out on the break, Arshavin chugged up the field to provide the perfect outlet. Taking a touch to settle the feed from Walcott, Arshavin smashed it past Pepe Reina with his left foot, inciting raucous celebrations from the away fans.
These strikes at Anfield will not be forgotten, and Arsenal fans will remember what Andrei Arshavin was once capable of.