After months of either being injured or looking useless, Arsenal loanee Julio Baptista remembered how to operate a football again last night and banged in four goals, leading a young Arsenal team to a 6-3 win over Liverpool and setting up a quarter final clash with Spurs.
Baptista merrily played one twos with Aliadiere, and hit some great long range efforts and generally looked like the player he’s supposed to be. It had been looking a dubious decision for Wenger to send Jose Antonio Reyes’ pace to Real Madrid in exchange for Baptista’s awkwardness, temporarily or permanently, especially after the 1-0 Premiership defeat to Sheffield United when the Brazilian looked like he was playing the wrong sport.
But in a team that sometimes lacks the killer touch, an in-form player whose nickname is “The Beast” could be the man they need. So after last night’s (admittedly one-off) performance, it’s not difficult to see a settled Baptista coinciding with Thierry Henry’s return propelling Arsenal to silverware in more than one competition this season.