2005-12-29

Arsenal 4 - Portsmouth 0

Arsenal FC made four first-half goals to crush a weak Portsmouth squad 4-0 and notch up their only their vistory of December on Wednesday.

Frenchman Thierry Henry, who had not scored since the end of November, struck two just before the interval, including one with a penalty shot.

Dennis Bergkamp added another goal - his first in the Premiership this season - and Jose Antonio Reyes scored as well for the Gunners.

Portsmouth, however, never looked like scoring or ending a Highbury winless streak that now stretches to 50 years.

The only good thing was that Harry Redknapp's side started brightly and showed an impressive workrate for much of the first half.

But they failed to get a shot on target, unlike Arsenal who seemingly scored every time they ventured into Portsmouth's area.

By half-time they already had a 4-0, Bergkamp, who had been rested for the Boxing Day win over Charlton, opening the scoring in the seventh minute.

Mathieu Flamini broke through the centre and laid it off on the left flank to Reyes, who cut the ball across the Bergkamp to dab home.

Six minutes later, Reyes managed a goal of his own, skying it into the top right-hand corner of the goal after Henry had showed excellent control and skill in the box.

Henry, who had been in the midst of a five-match drought, rounded off the half in style with two further goals.

The Frenchman was just as nonchalant in the 42nd minute when he chipped in a penalty after Andy Griffin had pushed Robert Pires over in the box.

Sadly for the home crowd, half-time seemingly took the spark out of the Gunners' fireworks, with Pompey actually creating the better chances early in the second half.

Arsenal FC tried to recreate their earlier attacking chances but just Bergkamp managed to force a save out of Ashdown.

And the Dutchman and his team-mates happily saw out the remainder of the game amid a raft of substitutions from manager Arsene Wenger.

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