Date: 9th April 2009 at 8:14am
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John Barnes, pundit for the New Football Pools says Arsenal had impressive resilience against Villarreal.

‘Arsenal showed an impressive resilience over in Spain in their match with Villarreal which many critics would have argued the lacked. After losing Manuel Almunia to injury, conceding an early goal and generally being outplayed in the first half you would have thought Arsene Wenger`s young side would`ve gone under. Instead, the Gunners weathered the storm and bossed the second half in every department.

The North London side could have easily been two or three goals down by the break but just as Manchester United got a result against Aston Villa when they didn`t perform well, so did Arsenal. It would have been pleasing for Wenger to see the belief within the young side in that second half as they took control of the game with key man Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings. We all know he is a very talented player but to come back from such a long time out and play so well in a game of this importance was impressive. Luckily for the Arsenal midfielder he is not a player who relies heavily on his physical attributes, he is more of an intelligent technical player so the long lay-off shouldn`t affect his general game too much.

You can`t comment on the match without congratulating Emmanuel Adebayor on a fine goal. The big Togolese striker hasn`t had the best of seasons compared to the last but he has kept going and is reaping the rewards on his return to fitness. Adebayor is a very good player and has all the attributes in terms of his pace, height, strength and touch to become a fantastic player. For the goal last night he showed great technique when receiving Fabregas` pass and that goal puts Arsenal well and truly in the driving seat to reach the Champions League semi-final.’

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