Premier League

April 10, 2011

Full-time

Blackpool

1 - 3

Arsenal

Premier League

12:30 +00:00, April 10, 2011

Bloomfield Road, England

Referee: Lee Mason

  • 93'

    FULL TIME Arsenal win, deservedly after their first half display, but it could have been so different had Blackpool been given a penalty at 2-1. Lehmann survives with a few wobbles and Arsenal close the gap to seven points.

  • 92'

    Phillips wins a corner for Blackpool.

  • 91'

    RVP nearly releases Walcott but Baptiste nips in.

  • 90'

    Three minutes added...

  • 89'

    Walcott has a pop from the free kick and isn't far away.

  • 88'

    Ramsey does well to release Wilshere and he draws a foul from Reid.

  • 87'

    Aaron Ramsey is coming on and Fabregas goes off. It was his 300th appearance for Arsenal today.

  • 86'

    More changes, for Arsenal Gibbs comes on for Nasri, for Blackpool Puncheon is off and Kornilenko on.

  • 85'

    They nearly got one but Evatt's header was right at Lehmann.

  • 84'

    A wasted cross from Crainey as Blackpool search for a lifeline.

  • 83'

    Southern off and Phillips on for Blackpool.

  • 82'

    Great work from RVP but poor from Walcott, who can't get past Crainey.

  • 81'

    Lehmann saves again from Campbell, in a carbon copy of the goal incident but with contact, but the flag was up.

  • 80'

    RVP drills an Arsenal corner to the edge of the box and Fabregas' header flashes narrowly wide of the angle.

  • 79'

    Clichy's had a shocker today.

  • 78'

    Lehmann saves well from Campbell! Clichy got caught in possession, Taylor-Fletcher found DJ but Lehmann was out quickly to stop.

  • 77'

    RVP's 12th Premier League goal this season - his best ever haul. Hard to believe, but true.

  • 76'

    GOAL Van Persie! Great counter, Diaby up to RVP, he spins it on to Walcott who gallops clear, then returns the ball to Van Persie who slots home from eight yards. Game over.

  • 74'

    Fabregas gives the ball away, Evatt finds Taylor-Fletcher but he gets his cross all wrong.

  • 73'

    Fabregas finds RVP over the top again and though the striker had time to bring it down he tries a volley and it flies over. Wenger was not happy.

  • 72'

    Well done Kingson - he punches Clichy's ball clear then hoofs it downfield. Next goal coming....

  • 71'

    Arsenal break upfield with four men running in support of Fabregas but he chooses the wrong option in Nasri who is crowded out, then RVP skirts up the line but can't squirt the ball in front of goal.

  • 70'

    A bit of a lull in the game now. Don't worry - it won't last long. As I type Walcott nearly gets on the end of a cross.

  • 69'

    Crainey carded after he is late on Walcott. Arsenal free kick on the right wing.

  • 67'

    Clichy redeems himself a little with a good tackle on Puncheon.

  • 66'

    There are more goals in this game, mark my words.

  • 65'

    Neat Arsenal move as Fabregas feeds RVP, he lays off to Clichy but Kingson is out to punch the cross away.

  • 64'

    Southern gets a card for a late lunge on Wilshere. Still thinking about the sitter he missed probably.

  • 62'

    Van Persie finally gets a shot off in the box after Fabregas' pass but drags it wide.

  • 61'

    Arsenal change, the ineffectual Arshavin makes way for Walcott.

  • 60'

    Varney comes off and Andy Reid comes on.

  • 59'

    Holloway is doing his nut on the sidelines about that penalty. The fourth official is getting a right earful.

  • 58'

    This was very predictable from Arsenal's point of view - they should have been 5-0 up at HT, but wasted chances and now they are on the rack.

  • 57'

    Criminal also describes Lee Mason's decision not to give Blackpool a penalty a moment ago. You will fail to see a more blatant spot kick in all your life.

  • 56'

    What a chance! Blackpool should be level, Puncheon gets wide, crosses and at the near post Southern has failed to make contact when a touch would have taken it in. Criminal.

  • 55'

    At the other end RVP swings in a corner and Kingson punches clear, then Wilshere hammers a volley over the bar.

  • 54'

    Now Blackpool howl for a penalty and they are absolutely right! Koscielny is late on Taylor-Fletcher, gets nowhere near the ball but no pen is given. The ref was ten yards away and looking right at it. Inexplicable.

  • 53'

    Wilshere was booked for a foul on Varney in the build-up too. Lehmann was slow on the uptake there, like the Champions League final. Clichy played Campbell onside.

  • 52'

    GOAL Taylor-Fletcher reduces the arrears! Drama! As Blackpool got through, Campbell was felled by Lehmann but the ref let play go on and Taylor-Fletcher slotted into an empty net.

  • 50'

    Van Persie does well in the channel and again provides a good cross but no-one is in the box for Arsenal. It happens a lot.

  • 49'

    Blackpool win another free kick and Adam's low ball to the near post finds Varney unmarked but he side-foots past the post. Tough angle, to open his foot up, but he perhaps should have done better.

  • 48'

    Blackpool win a free kick but Adam's delivery, for once, is poor.

  • 47'

    Taylor-Fletcher dinks a ball in but Koscielny defends the near post well.

  • 46'

    We begin again...

  •  

    Apparently Lehmann said to the ref before kick-off: "You have to protect pensioners in the box."

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    The man of the moment.

  •  

    But a lot of the talk has been about one man: Jens Lehmann. The 41-year-old didn't have much to do in that half but he did it well.

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    Diaby celebrates Arsenal's opener.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME A splendid half of football and Arsenal could have scored seven or eight. Blackpool started well but nosedived after Diaby's opener. Eboue made it two and Nasri or Van Persie really should have added to the tally. Holloway needs to sort his tactics out as Blackpool's high line is being beaten time and time again.

  • 45'

    Unbelievable stop from Arsenal! Varney gets to the byline and whips it in and a combo of Squillaci and Lehmann kill the ball stone dead on the goalline before Fabregas flicks clear! Then RVP wants a pen for a barge up the other end but nothing is given.

  • 45'

    Stupidity from Diaby who kicks the ball away after conceding a free kick and is carded. When will Arsenal learn?

  • 44'

    Now Wilshere nearly gets on the scoresheet with a cute dink from seven yards that Kingson palms up then collects. Maybe low and hard was a better option.

  • 43'

    Ian Holloway has a rather large teamtalk approaching at the interval.

  • 42'

    Eboue gets down the right and waits for the right pass but as Nasri bursts into the box the defender's pass is right at Kingson.

  • 41'

    RVP will be wondering how he hasn't scored this half. Another half chance now as he nearly gets a head on Fabregas' near-perfect long ball.

  • 40'

    Van Persie finally has the ball in the net but he is flagged offside. Quite rightly, too.

  • 39'

    Two balls over the top cause problems as Van Persie gets through again, is met by Kingson and feeds Diaby but he tries to be too cute and Crianey gets back. Before that Lehmann came out well to get to a long ball ahead of DJ Campbell.

  • 38'

    Arsenal can sniff blood here and if they get a third before HT it is all over for Blackpool.

  • 37'

    Van Persie now finds Fabregas over the top but the Gunners' skipper was narrowly offside.

  • 36'

    A great chance for Arsenal - makes that two great chances! First Nasri winds into the area, shifts it to his right and hits Kingson when RVP was waiting fot a tap in, then Fabregas delivers a dink into the area and on the turn Nasri volleys against the post.

  • 35'

    You feel Blackpool need one before half time without conceding if they are to get anything from the game.

  • 34'

    Diaby slots Van Persie into the area but Evatt slides in to concede a corner.

  • 32'

    Fabregas finds Van Persie with a lovely ball, this time the striker's chest control is good but he can't get enough power on his shot and Kingson saves low down.

  • 31'

    An excellent ball in from Adam is cleared by Clichy, then Wilshere.

  • 30'

    Eboue concedes a free kick on the left wing by kicking through Adam to get the ball.

  • 29'

    Crainey gets down the left as Blackpool continue their recovery. He wins a corner.

  • 28'

    A bit better from Blackpool as Baptiste marauds forward. They still haven't tested Lehmann yet.

  • 26'

    Fabregas nearly finds Arshavin who was galloping into the area. Arsenal fully on top now.

  • 25'

    Southern and Wilshere bang heads. Both are ok though. Arsenal free kick somehow.

  • 24'

    Now Diaby gets in down the right but his cross is cleared by Evatt. This could be ten for Arsenal at this rate.

  • 23'

    Ian Holloway implores his players to lift it. Bizarrely, they have been the side on top but Arsenal have had two attacks and scored twice.

  • 22'

    Blackpool are sinking without a trace. Eboue's first of the season.

  • 21'

    GOAL Eboue with a screamer! He swaps passes with Wilshere before sliding the ball onto his left and cracking it into the top corner.

  • 20'

    Now Arshavin springs the offside trap but Kingson is out to clear Fabregas' ball through.

  • 19'

    That was so easy for Arsenal - so much so it looked like Blackpool had stopped because they thought a flag was imminent. RVP was tight, but probably just on.

  • 18'

    GOAL Diaby! A lovely move. Diaby started it giving it to Nasri, he found Van Persie on the left and as he drills the ball across Diaby is free to slot home.

  • 16'

    Blackpool doing the pressing as Adam swings in two crosses that Arsenal clear. The Gunners can't keep hold of the ball so far.

  • 15'

    Now good work from Puncheon as he cuts inside and wins a corner after his shot is deflected, from it Evatt nods over.

  • 14'

    Half shout for a penalty as Koscielny was a little late on Taylor-Fletcher. Nothing doing though.

  • 13'

    Arsenal's passing lacking bite so far as Blackpool get in amongst them quickly.

  • 12'

    Adam is down and needs some treatment, I think he'll be fine though.

  • 11'

    Oh dear Van Persie. That should be 1-0, his control is poor from Nasri's pass and Kingson collects. He was in on goal with decent chest control.

  • 10'

    Was that a stamp from Lehmann?! Taylor-Fletcher went in for a ball and fell at the keeper's feet and as Lehmann landed his boot very nearly caught the midfielder.

  • 9'

    Van Persie's free kick is terrible, by his lofty standards.

  • 8'

    Lehmann comes out to claim a ball in front of Varney. Safe hands there. Now Fabregas wins a free kick off Adam.

  • 7'

    Now Varney nudges the ball past Eboue but can't wrap his foot round the cross.

  • 6'

    Keeper flap at the other end as Kingson comes for a cross that Cathcart had under control, it falls to Arshavin who shanks his volley well wide. A tough chance but one he is capable of taking.

  • 5'

    First Arsenal move as they work the ball down the left where Van Persie fires an excellent ball across. No-one in a yellow shirt is in to meet it so Evatt boots clear.

  • 4'

    Adam fires the corner in near post and Ian Evatt flashes a header wide.

  • 4'

    A delay while Jens does his boots up....

  • 3'

    Good start from Blackpool, Arsenal look shaky at the back already. Home corner.

  • 2'

    Lehmann manages to get through his first involvement - control and then a punt downfield. Shoot on sight Ian Holloway has surely told his players.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF

  •  

    Eboue comes in for Sagna too. And because Almunia pulled out so late he isn't allowed to be a sub so there is no substitute keeper when Lehman gets sent off or has a breakdown.

  •  

    The big news is that Jens Lehmann starts in goal for Arsenal, as Almunia fell ill in the warm up. This is becoming a huge day for Arsene Wenger, what with all the flak flying.

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    Live comments will appear here from 1315 BST.

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    Can Arsenal get their season back on track with a victory at out-of-form Blackpool? Check out our preview here.

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