Arsenal 3 Watford 0: Walcott gifts his manager real presence

Teenager stands out at Arsène's anniversary party

Dignified and generous, Arsène Wenger and Arsenal entertained with some sparkle yesterday. It was a comprehensive victory over outclassed opponents on a day for celebrations to mark the manager's 10 years of success at the club.

Goals by Jordan Stewart, who headed into his own net, Thierry Henry and the outstanding Emmanuel Adebayor carried Arsenal to their sixth successive victory in all competitions and lifted them towards the business end of the Premiership. Watford, all huff, puff and hope, never gave up, but also never looked like collecting their first League victory this season.

The inclusion in the starting line-up of the precocious Theo Walcott, 17, fresh from his two goals in Germany for the England Under-21 team, for the first time, was another sign of Wenger's vision and acumen. Walcott played on the left of a four-man midfield and did well, several speedy runs causing consternation and some adroit passes catching the eye.

"He showed he can make a difference," said Wenger. "If you give him a good ball, you know that nobody can catch him. He did very well, for a 17-year-old, and I liked his passing through the line, too. His strength really is to be on the end of things, as a striker, but he showed a lot of ability."

In an attacking formation that included Henry alongside the tall, athletic and dangerous Adebayor, with support from Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas, Walcott caught the eye and prompted warm support from the Arsenal fans in a sold out 60,000 full house.

"We had to match them physically because they do well, what they do," explained Wenger. "And then we got the ball down and played when we could and also scored when we could... They are one of those teams that, if you are not focused and concentrated, can beat you and so, for that reason, I think they have a chance to stay up in this League."

Adebayor, a totem for Togo at the World Cup finals, stood tall and shone as Arsenal controlled and then won a game largely played at the tempo they dictated. Watford did have chances, but they were wasted: Tommy Smith firing wide at the end of the first half and then Marlon King forcing a spreading save from Jens Lehmann.

In between, Arsenal stood their ground physically, rolled the ball across the lush grass, created many good chances and provided delightful entertainment. Rosicky, in particular, might have had a hat-trick as he shot from all angles and distances and kept Ben Foster diving and alert while Fabregas, playing like a complete midfielder, yet still only 19, tackled, organised and passed as a veteran.

His pass high towards Adebayor led to Stewart guiding a soft header past Foster after 32 minutes and a through ball for Henry, after 68, enabled the Frenchman to set up Adebayor for a tap-in third.

Between these two, Henry, supplied by an Adebayor flick and some slapstick defending by Jay DeMerit, ran clear to steer a left-foot shot beyond Foster. Three goals hardly spoke fairly for Arsenal's superiority, but with a trip to Moscow looming, the manager was satisfied and there were no complaints from a happy, celebrating crowd.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform