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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Russian international Andrei Arshavin has defended under-fire Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner
Russian international Andrei Arshavin has defended under-fire Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner in an interview with the Sport Express daily.

Arshavin, 27, scored his first goal for Arsenal on Saturday and was heavily involved in both the first and third goals as the north London club routed Blackburn 4-0.

The former Zenit St. Petersburg star also set up, along with his Arsenal teammates, chance after chance for Danish forward Bendtner, only for the 21-year-old to spurn the opportunities before being substituted late on.

"Every footballer misses chances...Bendtner will score in the next match," Man of the Match Arshavin said. "4-0 was enough!"

Arshavin's first goal for Arsenal came in the 65th minute, the diminutive forward selling Blackburn defender Danny Simpson a sublime dummy before crashing home from the tightest of angles.

"In all my previous attempts to go round players, I had put the ball to my right," Arshavin explained. "Blackburn's defenders had got used to that. But for the goal, one of them had gone to cover his partner in, what seemed to him, the right side. Simpson thought he could read me like a book, but it turned out that the pages were stuck together..."

However, despite his wonder goal, Arshavin denied that he had fully adapted to English soccer.

"Not yet, unfortunately," he said.

Arshavin also revealed that the four stitches he needed in his foot at half-time would mean he was likely to miss Tuesday's FA Cup tie against Hull City.

"I'd like to see as soon as possible if I have got into the swing of things, or if the game with Blackburn was just an episode," he added. "However, fate, unfortunately, has presented me with some extra difficulties."


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