LONDON - Arsenal's most prolific goalscorer Thierry Henry sat in the stands at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as his former club produced a scintillating display of attacking football to hammer Blackburn Rovers 6-2.
The Frenchman, who left the Gunners for Barcelona after scoring 226 goals, must have wished he could have sneaked on to the pitch as Arsenal, inspired by the midfield promptings of skipper Cesc Fabregas, turned on the style.
Arsenal's goals, which took their Premier League tally to 24 in seven games and moved them up to fourth place, were shared by six players. All of them were beautifully crafted efforts that had manager Arsene Wenger singing the praises of Fabregas.
"We always go forward with the whole team," he told reporters. "We can score goals and Fabregas is always in the middle of it. A team always goes naturally through its strongest position and therefore it goes through Fabregas."
The Spaniard had a difficult time last season, suffering a knee injury and struggling to balance the extra responsibility of being captain and the team's creative spark.
However, he now appears to be playing with a freshness and freedom that augurs well for Arsenal's campaign.
Not that they had it all their own way on Sunday as some defensive jitters twice allowed Blackburn to take the lead.
Goals from Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin put them 3-2 up at the interval and they cut loose in the second period with Fabregas, Theo Walcott 75 and Nicklas Bendtner all on target.
"There is something in this side that is light-hearted and enjoyable to watch. Why? Because you feel they enjoy what they do," said Wenger. "(Henry) would have scored today, certainly," he added of the watching Frenchman.
"When we are confident we have a flow that looks like the goals can come at any moment and from anywhere. Today we scored six and their keeper (Paul Robinson) had a good game."
Wenger did sound a note of caution, however, suggesting his side's attacking instincts can occasionally backfire, as they did in the recent 4-2 defeat at Manchester City.
"We struggled a bit today defensively. We have to add some discipline defensively," he said. "It is difficult to have so many people going forward."comments