Three and easy for Arsenal
Gunners rarely tested by Sparta
By James Dall. Last Updated: 30/08/07 6:43am
Rosicky: goal from midfield
Arsenal eased into the group stages of the Champions League after a comfortable 3-0 victory against Sparta Prague at the Emirates Stadium securing a 5-0 aggregate win.
Tomas Rosicky grabbed the early breakthrough and then late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Eduardo Da Silva sealed an easy win for Arsene Wenger's side.
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Arsenal were rarely tested as Sparta created little, the Czech side's lack of ambition meant that the game was played out easily for The Gunners.
The French manager felt comfortable enough with Arsenal's position to make five changes to the team that beat Manchester City on Saturday.
Although Sparta coach Michal Bilek admitted his side's chances of progressing were slim he wanted to make it as difficult as possible for the London club.
Sparta felt they were hard-done-by as Theo Walcott was given the benefit of a tight offside decision and the winger took full advantage as he picked out Rosicky's run with a perfect pass.
Rosicky, who started his career at Sparta, has been criticised for his lack of goals since joining Arsenal, but the Czech midfielder's low first-time strike flashed past Tomas Postulka in the manner of a true predator.
It took Sparta 25 minutes before they even had a shot at Manuel Almunia's goal when Marek Kulic's effort deflected over.
At least Walcott offered occasional moments of promise down the right wing, with his pace troubling Sparta left-back Jiri Kladrubsky repeatedly.
With the match all but won it was inevitable Arsenal would suffer the occasional lapse in concentration, although Wenger would not have been happy with the way Gael Clichy allowed Jan Rezek to ghost in behind him.
If Rezek had kept his composure Sparta could easily have reduced the deficit but the winger scuffed his shot wide.
Almunia can rarely have had a quieter 90 minutes. He made only one serious stop to turn away a back-header from Justin Hoyte that flashed across goal from a corner early in the second half.
Sparta were willing but painfully limited and Fabregas came on to underline the gap between the teams in the 82nd minute.
Eduardo cleverly worked space to pick out Fabregas just inside the area and the Spaniard swept his shot past Postulka.
There was still time for Eduardo to open his Arsenal account with a close-range volley from Denilson's cross in the 90th minute.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Sparta Prague|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||1|
|7||Shots off Target||4|
UEFA Champions League Qualifying
Wed 29th Aug - Third Round
Shak Donetsk3 - 1Salzburg
Dynamo Kiev2 - 0Sarajevo
Besiktas2 - 0FC Zurich
S Bucuresti2 - 0BATE Borisov
Din Zagreb2 - 3W Bremen
Anderlecht0 - 2Fenerbahce
Slavia Prague2 - 1Ajax
Celtic1 - 1Spartak Mos
Elfsborg1 - 2Valencia
Rosenborg2 - 0Tampere United
FC Cop'hagen0 - 1Benfica
Arsenal3 - 0Sp Prague