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Gunners down Dinamo
08 Aug 2006 - 22:29:39
Arsenal powered to a 3-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League third qualifying round first leg tie, with Cesc Fabregas netting a crucial double.
In the sixth minute Fabregas won a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area, but Robin van Persie blazed the set-piece high over the crossbar.
Seventeen minutes in home keeper Ivan Turina was forced into a diving save by van Persie's 25-yarder.
Dinamo started to find their feet and with 26 minutes played Luka Modric and Marijan Buljat combined, with the former shooting wide of the near post as Almunia advanced.
Three minutes later Emmanuel Adebayor screamed a shot inches wide of the far post, with Turina beaten.
Just before the break Alex Hleb cleverly found van Persie, but the Dutchman scuffed his shot from 15 yards and Turina collected with ease.
After the break Dinamo started the brighter, but just past the hour mark Arsenal struck twice within a minute to take total charge of the tie.
First, Alex Hleb found van Persie and his lay-off allowed Fabregas to fire a low shot across Turina and into the bottom corner of the net.
Within sixty seconds it was 2-0 as a long ball over the top allowed van Persie to steam clear and fire a low left-foot shot past Turina from just inside the area.
Dinamo tried to find a way back into the tie, with Johan Djourou making a superb tackle to deny Eduardo and Manuel Almunia blocking a low shot by Luka Modric.
Eleven minutes from time Dinamo's misery was complete as Fabregas weaved away from a couple of markers and fired home another excellent low drive from 18 yards out.
Substitute Mathieu Flamini should have added a fourth in stoppage time after being played in by Hleb, but the Frenchman's shot was blocked by Turina.
However, it is unlikely to prove costly, with Arsene Wenger's side firmly on track for the Champions League group stages.