Before this game it seemed that there could only be one outcome- Arsenal was on a run of seven wins in eight games playing some absolutely brilliant football along the way; Derby had struggled in their start to the Premiership season, albeit picking up their first win in the league against Newcastle a week earlier.
Most of the football pundits, the media, the fans and their dog predicted a win for Arsenal by quite a large margin- they were not to be let down as Arsenal beat Derby comprehensively, netting five goals with no reply.
The match started off with the buzz most 3pm kickoffs seem to have and Derby were immediately on the back foot. There seemed little danger when Abou Diaby picked up the ball on the far end of the pitch- this was a player that had missed two complete sitters in his last two Premiership matches as well as struggling from his forced place on the left wing. That was until Diaby cut in past two Derby players and fired off a powerful shot that went in off the upright, sending both the Arsenal fans and players into raptures.
Despite coming up from the Championship, some of Derby’s defending in the game was similar to Conference-standard, and they will have to make a phenominal improvement if they are to have any chance of staying up.
Arsenal’s next goal came in the 25th minute when a lofted ball by Cesc Fabregas was expertly controlled by Adebayor before the Togonian jinked past Bywater to place the ball into the back of an empty net. The goal made Adebayor joint top scorer in the league; he would soon claim the place for his own. Although Derby managed to weather the storm till half time, they were hit once again when Eduardo was brought down in the box and Adebayor calmly tucked away the penalty.
The lanky striker was to complete his hattrick later in the half; first though another 20-yard shot was placed in the far corner by Cesc Fabregas, who continued his fine goalscoring form. This was the Spaniard’s last act before he was substituted off and the game slowed down a bit as the new players coming in disrupted the flow. There was still time for Adebayor to score his third goal, calmly chesting down the ball before slotting it into the far corner.
Derby’s one highlight of the game was the performance of Giles Barnes after coming on as a substitute in the 75th minute- he started some of their best plays and they looked a much better side with his endeavor. Apart from that they were woeful, and must look to dramatically improve as they have two winnable games against Bolton and Reading coming up. This Arsenal team continues to gel together and now they must definitely be considered as serious contenders for the title.
Highlights & Goals