Bendtner relights his fire at Fratton Park
By Randy Osae
Nicklas Bendner epitomized his place in Wenger’s plans by leading a virtuoso show at Fratton Park with a brace which was added by Carlos Vela’s own boon to give Arsenal a comprehensive 3-0 victory on Saturday.
Bendtner’s inclusion was one of eight changes Wenger had made from the midweek line-up and it only took 13 minutes to reward the boss with a header onto Arshavin’s float-in which was helped home by David James.
The Russian was well involved in Bendtner’s second also – having being victim of a foul in the penalty box – which resulted in a sublimely placed spot-kick by Arsenal’s Dane.
After netting twice in the first-half, the 20-year-old was in rampant mood and attempted to seal a hat-trick with an optimistic long-range effort before been replaced by Merida with 12 minutes left.
That decision to save the Dane’s legs was perhaps signs of Wenger’s plans of partnering Bendtner upfront with Adebayor in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.
Bendtner has now extended his tally to 14 goals, and for a much-maligned frontman who has been in and out of the loop, that is a considerable return.