Arsenal closed in on a place in the Champions League knockout phase with a crushing victory over Shakhtar Donetsk to move clear at the top of Group H. Alex Song bundled the hosts ahead after an error by keeper Andriy Pyatov before Samir Nasri drilled home a second. Shakhtar’s Luiz Adriano was denied by Lukasz Fabianski before a fit-again Cesc Fabregas scored from the spot. Jack Wilshere clipped in and Marouane Chamakh poked a fifth, while ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo lashed a consolation.
Chamakh’s goal made him the first player to score in six consecutive Champions League matches, but the last word belonged to Eduardo – returning to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his £6m move to Shakhtar last summer. The 27-year-old striker made a huge impression after joining the Gunners from Dinamo Zagreb in 2007, but his progress was stalled by a horrific leg injury suffered against Birmingham in 2008 and he never fully recaptured his early form. He received a huge ovation on arrival as a 63rd-minute substitute and after converting Jadson’s cross with a superb finish, the Croatian was again serenaded by an appreciative home crowd.
The result maintains Arsenal’s 100% start to the group and puts them on nine points, three clear of second-placed Shakhtar ahead of their meeting in Donetsk on 3 November.