ON THIS DAY 2010: Nicklas Bendtner never reached superstar status at Arsenal, but his role in the Gunners’ 2010 Champions League triumph was never forgotten.
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Nicklas Bendtner Arsenal fans weren’t always supportive of him, but there was a time when he was capable of becoming the world-class player he thought he could be.
The Dane popular scores 10 out of 9 in the assessment of “self-perception” – it’s not a typo – but rarely exhibits the consistency one would expect of the world’s greatest players.
Bendtner’s self-belief, coupled with his mid-range record, made him an increasingly frustrated player for most of his time in north London.
However, in March 2010, there was reason to believe that he could make it to the top after one of these Arsenal’s most impressive European knockout performance.
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The only fear came in the opening match, when Standard Liege took a two-goal lead early, but it was Bendtner who started the comeback in Belgium against AZ and Olympiacos at the Emirates home.
Since reaching the final in 2006, Wenger’s men have reached the knockout stages continuously, but the semi-final in 2008-09 was the closest they have won.
If they want to go further, they need to first get past a new Porto that have conceded just three goals in the group stage and have a serious goal threat in the form of summer signing Radamel Falcao.
Colombia’s goal at Dragao gave Porto a tight half-point advantage, after Silvestre Varela and Sol Campbell swapped goals in the first half, and Wenger’s men will need their fourth European win from four tables to continue.
However, Arsenal had a star of their own, and Bendtner’s performance in the second leg was the kind you tell your grandchildren about.
Perhaps we should have known Bendtner had a stellar performance at some point in the season.
In August 2009, the striker was changed his team number between 26 and 52, saying “I hope that brings me luck in the new season” and pledging refunds to any fan who purchased a shirt with the previous number.
After a slow start to the campaign, things started to pick up shortly after his 22nd birthday, and he went into the match against Porto with two goals in his previous three appearances.
It probably should have happened more too, with several missed opportunities preventing his scoring streak in the match against Burnley A few days before the second leg, but he can be confident because he has come into the right position to threaten.
In the end, Bendtner needed just 10 minutes to take the lead over Jesualdo Ferreira’s team, coming in after a Samir Nasri pass that spooked the visitors’ defense.
It was two in half an hour, with Bendtner tapping home after Andrey Arshavin pulled several defenders out of center with a hazy run, and Arsenal had a foot in the quarter-finals after just an hour as Nasri Score another sensational solo goal. arguably his best ever for the club and Emmanuel Eboue added a fourth.
However, there was still time for Bendtner to complete his hat-trick, beating Helton from 11 yards after Eboue was cut down in the box. At that time, the stadium belonged to him.
“It shows you how very quickly football can change,” Wenger said after the game.
“He’s come back with good focus and the same conviction – that’s also one of his strengths.”
“Nicklas hasn’t lost confidence, it’s remained relatively stable.”
Bendtner made the performance in his move, despite what must have been a strong temptation to beat the first hat-trick of his career for all it was worth.
“Every game I play, I put it back as soon as it’s over,” he said. “Sometimes it’s one of those days and against Porto I was right. I’m happy with the hat-trick but tomorrow we’ll continue.”
He was also true to his word, scoring a last-minute equalizer against Hull City in the next game as a fifth straight win brought new life to the title.
After his hat-trick against Porto, you can forgive Bendtner for thinking he can do anything. Well, assuming he didn’t think so before the treble.
A quarterfinal meeting with Barcelona will be the next big test, with a relatively modest level Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in a 2-2 draw in north London before Bendtner was assigned to lead the Camp Nou team.
Not that the Champions League holders will stop Bendtner, who stunned Pep Guardiola’s side when he collected Theo Walcott’s pass and beat Victor Valdes in the second.
However, there is a small problem, that the server has Lionel Messi in the form of his career.
His four goals not only kept Arsenal packed, but they even eclipsed the senior Arsenal’s record in the previous round.
One night in 2010, however, Bendtner was king, and we should never forget that.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/bendtner-arsenal-porto-hattrick-wenger-26415415 Remember Nicklas Bendtner's best moment as Arsenal proved their Champions League class