Fabregas finds new dimension to shatter Braga

Even if Braga had shifted the huge rock face that looms over their stadium in northern Portugal and dumped it at the Emirates, Cesc Fabregas would still have found a way to goal.

Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 09:43 AM IST

London: Even if Braga had shifted the huge rock face that looms over their stadium in northern Portugal and dumped it at the Emirates, Cesc Fabregas would still have found a way to goal.

Arsenal`s Spanish midfielder produced a mesmerising performance in a 6-0 Group H victory to open their Champions League campaign, beginning the rout with a penalty, striking again after the halftime and laying on chances galore.

Braga, nicknamed the Arsenalistas, beat Celtic and Sevilla to take their place alongside Europe`s elite but the Portuguese were shattered before halftime as Fabregas conducted a show of firepower that will have resonated across the continent.

Andrei Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh helped themselves to goals and substitute Carlos Vela joined the party with a brace as Arsenal, without the injured Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie, threatened their 7-0 record home win in Europe.

They all owed a debt to the inspirational Fabregas, however, as the 23-year-old turned in a performance to rival that of Barcelona`s Lionel Messi the previous night.

The Arsenal skipper did not look like a player tempted to give up on manager Arsene Wenger`s slowly evolving project and head back to the Nou Camp where he began his career.
Arsenal`s five-year trophy drought is used as a stick to beat Wenger and given as a reason Fabregas should leave but he believes the Spaniard can achieve all he wants at Arsenal.

"I never said he didn`t have his heart here," Wenger told reporters, when asked about Fabregas`s flirtation with a move back to Barcelona. "He has moved to another dimension.”
"People forget he is 23 which is when some players are just starting. He is a fantastic influence on the team and for the young players like (Jack) Wilshere to play alongside him is a fantastic opportunity for them to learn."

Bureau Report