UPDATE 1-Soccer-Fabregas scores twice as Arsenal thrash Alkmaar

* Fabregas leads Arsenal rout

* Nasri also on target

(adds detail)

By Martyn Herman

LONDON, Nov 4 - Cesc Fabregas struck twice as
Arsenal thrashed AZ Alkmaar 4-1 on Wednesday to leave them on
the brink of a place in the Champions League knockout round.

Fabregas scored a goal in each half as the Arsenal crowd
enjoyed another dazzling display by their Spanish captain. Samir
Nasri and Abou Diaby also cashed in against a Dutch side who
were outclassed all over the pitch in the Group H clash.

Substitute Jeremain Lens did give the muted visiting fans
some late cheer with a consolation goal but Alkmaar, who have
started the season poorly, look set for a scrap for third spot.

With two matches remaining Arsenal top the group with 10
points from four games, followed by Greek side Olympiakos on six
and Standard Liege, who Arsenal host next, on four. Alkmaar have
two points.

Alkmaar coach Ronald Koeman had never lost to Arsenal as
coach, first with Ajax and then with PSV Eindhoven and two years
ago his PSV side knocked the Gunners out of the competition.

The former Dutch international's record came to a sorry end
at the Emirates where the outcome was never in doubt once
Fabregas had put the home side ahead after 26 minutes -- turning
sharply to beat keeper Sergio Romero at his near post.

Nasri, who played his first match of the season last week
after returning from injury, killed the game a minute before
halftime when he controlled an Andrei Arshavin pass before
slotting a precise shot inside the post.

Russian Arshavin was the provider again seven minutes after
the break when his pass found Fabregas who lifted a shot high
into the net.

Diaby got in on the act after 72 minutes, again from
Arshavin's pass, to confirm Arsenal's superiority.

Alkmaar's Graziano Pelle did force one great save from
Manuel Almunia when the game was already up for the visitors
before Lens showed great pace before surprising the Spanish
keeper with a low shot.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; to query or comment on this story
email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)