Inter Milan forward Lukas Podolski provided Arsenal fans with a timely reminder of his qualities last night, with a superb piece of hold-up play that was rarely seen in his two-and-half years at the Emirates.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger never fancied Podolski as a central striker and with some justification, although maybe he should revise that opinion based on his efforts in last night's Coppa Italia tie between Inter and Sampdoria.
Podolski produced a moment of individual quality to break the deadlock for the Nerazzurri and no it wasn't a left-root rocket from distance.
Podolski and Shaqiri quickly strike up partnership
Inter boss Roberto Mancini opted for the exciting attacking trio of Podolski, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mauro Icardi at the San Siro last night, but for more than 70 minutes Sampdoria kept that strikeforce quiet.
That was despite being reduced to 10 men after just 12 minutes, but that spirited resistance was finally broken as Podolski produced a rare potent mix of strength and skill to slip Shaqiri in for his first goal in Inter black and blue.
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Hold-up play Giroud would be proud of
Sampdoria later went down to nine-men as the heroics of goalkeeper Sergio Romero were eventually rendered redundant, with Mauro Icardi making up for missing a penalty at 0-0 by killing the tie off with a goal in the 88th minute.
Podolski's astute hold-up play, Shaqiri's first goal and Icardi's impressive run of scoring form gave Mancini plenty of reasons to be positive after a difficult night in the cup, but that will come as scant consolation to Gunners fans who think the World Cup winner deserved better from Wenger and more consistent first-team opportunities at the Emirates.
Check out the well-timed backheel assist below, and with Mancini giving Podolski the freedom to do damage for the rest of this season don't be surprised if its not the last time we're talking about Serie A's newest superstar this season.
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