Premier League

February 4, 2012



7 - 1

Blackburn Rovers

Premier League

13:00 +00:00, February 4, 2012

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Andre Marriner


    Well, well, well. Eight goals in a rather emphatic win, albeit against 10-man Rovers. A hat-trick for Van Persie while a brace from the Ox, who was superb, helped fire the Gunners to a rampant and much-needed win, their first league triumph of 2012. Thanks for joining me. Be sure to join Chris Murphy for chat, goals and updates. I've been James Dall. Cheerio.


    FULL-TIME: Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn.

  • 90'

    Hanley stumbles on the ball in the centre. Henry scampers clear and passes to Van Persie, who squares it back. The Frenchman shoots, it gets a deflection, and bobbles in. Possibly an OG.

  • 90'

    GOAL!!! Henry scores for Arsenal!

  • 90'

    One last chance as Benayoun zips a volley into the chest of Robinson.

  • 90'

    Cleared by Sagna. Three minutes of added time will be played.

  • 89'

    Corner to Blackburn.

  • 88'

    More red seats emerging as fans head home early. It is a right arse to get out of the Emirates, but stay until the end this time around, surely?

  • 87'

    Rare attack from Blackburn but the ball fails to stick with Modeste.

  • 86'

    Van Persie goes down in the box, but nothing doing from the ref. The correct call, I'd say.

  • 85'

    Vermaelen is carded for a niggle on Modeste.

  • 84'

    Kean is looking pensive on the touchline. Haters will be out in force post this match.

  • 83'

    Henry hits a left-footed effort in a bid to catch out Robinson, but the ball skips out of play. Might have been an attempt at a pass actually.

  • 82'

    Like a training match now. Attack v defence.

  • 81'

    Arsenal probing. Blackburn have men behind the ball, protecting what is left of pride.

  • 80'

    So close to seven as Henry threads in Rosicky, who wants to pull the trigger but under pressure Dann does enough to close the door.

  • 79'

    Very minor tussle between Dann and Henry. Little in it, in truth.

  • 78'

    Kean will likely get a bashing for this, but he hardly could have done anything about Givet's red card.

  • 77'

    Robinson truly must dread facing Arsenal.

  • 76'

    Henry surges forward and beats one, but he cannot beat another and the move breaks down. Groans from the home fans.

  • 75'

    Modeste has offered very little in the solo role. A tough job but he has not even attempted to be a menace.

  • 74'

    Van Persie sends in a cross but Hanley heads away impressively.

  • 73'

    Great cross in from Sagna is hooked away by Hanley. Arsenal are pushing for seven, which would spark clich├ęd headlines about heaven.

  • 72'

    No Park, then, as Benayoun comes on for Song.

  • 71'

    Where's Park? Perfect game for him, you would think.

  • 70'

    Sagna is playing at left-back with Vermaelen in his more natural place of centre-back.

  • 69'

    Henry is of course after his first league goal since returning to the club on loan.

  • 68'

    Sagna and Henry replace the brilliant Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Koscielny.

  • 68'

    Changes are imminent...

  • 67'

    The Ox is having an outstanding game.

  • 66'

    A corner finds Walcott at the back post and the England man tries a dipping volley. But it doesn't dip enough.

  • 65'

    Still no subs from Wenger, which is odd.

  • 64'

    Fans cheering every pass now. So much for the alleged bin bags.

  • 63'

    Hoillett looks set to race through but Koscielny bursts off the turf to mop up.

  • 62'

    Awful, awful marking from Blackburn. Coquelin easily picks out the Dutchman with a low cross, and RVP bangs in with his right foot.

  • 62'

    GOAL!!! Van Persie hat-trick!

  • 61'

    Vermaelen looks on, by the way.

  • 60'

    Terrific work from the Ox, who makes a mockery of his markers before dinking one to the back post. Arteta smashes in a first-time volley, but the ball zooms over.

  • 59'

    Blackburn haven't given up. But, wait, Arsenal spring clear...

  • 58'

    Pedersen has a chance to net another free-kick, but this time he only finds the wall.

  • 57'

    Vermaelen is limping. Worry around the Emirates.

  • 56'

    There are more goals in this game, surely. Van Persie will surely come off shortly, with Park of Henry likely candidates to replace him.

  • 55'

    It's 5-1. A mauling. Walcott worms his way in from the right. He is surrounded by Blackburn players but sees the Ox lurking at the back stick. A short pass is played and the youngster buries coolly.

  • 55'

    GOAL!!! The Ox scores another!

  • 54'

    The Blackburn fans look, understandably, utterly miserable.

  • 53'

    Stat: Paul Robinson has now conceded 57 goals against Arsenal in the Premier League.

  • 52'

    A corner is poorly cleared by Blackburn and Koscielny's toe is enough to get the ball to Arteta, who lashes low first time and fires past Robinson.

  • 52'

    GOAL!!! Arteta scores for Arsenal!

  • 51'

    Nearly an own goal as Hanley stretches following a whipped cross from Walcott. The ball is deflected out for a corner.

  • 50'

    Henry is warming-up. The home fans are singing his name.

  • 49'

    Decent football from Blackburn, there. They popped it round nicely before a shot from the right was weak and the keeper got his body behind it. Encouraging for the ten-man visitors though.

  • 48'

    Coquelin sends in a delicious cross on the right. No-one there though to attack it.

  • 47'

    No changes for either side.

  • 46'

    Second half: Arsenal get the second period started.


    The second half is about to get under way. Another four goals would be most welcome.


    What a peculiar half. Arsenal dominated throughout, and went in front as early as the second minute via the Walcott-Van Persie combo, the latter scoring. But, out of nowhere, Pedersen fired in a glorious free-kick. Then, Arsenal rallied, with Van Persie scoring a second, thanks to another assist from Walcott. The Ox soon got in on the act, latching onto a delicious pass from RVP, to score his first league goal for the Gunners. Oh, and Givet got sent off. Mountain to climb for Kean and his men.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: Arsenal 3-1 Blackburn.

  • 45'

    Walcott continues to struggle when he has a decision to make. When there is one option, and he has to deliver instantaneously, he impresses. But other than that, there are issues.

  • 45'

    Ah, almost four. Vermaelen strikes it after arriving at the back post. He hammers at goal, but the ball hammers back off the post and out.

  • 45'

    Wenger must surely be weighing up whether to rest Van Persie in the second half.

  • 45'

    Five minutes of added time will be played.

  • 45'

    Dunn is replaced by Hanley.

  • 44'

    Van Persie was in pain. He is back on though. The fans cheer.

  • 43'

    The Frenchman is sent off after a two-footed challenge on Van Persie. It was a scissors motion from the defender. Had to go.

  • 42'

    Red card for Givet!

  • 41'

    Arsenal smell a fourth, but Blackburn do look capable of springing clear and netting a second.

  • 40'

    A first league goal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Van Persie plays a very cute through ball which the youngster gets a toe to. He rounds Robinson before tapping in.

  • 40'

    GOAL!!! The Ox makes it 3-1 to Arsenal!

  • 39'

    That's a lovely goal. Arsenal work it out from the back and in a flash they are attacking Robinson's goal. Song threads in Walcott down the right, who squares for RVP. The Dutchman lashes in from close range. 2-1.

  • 39'

    GOAL!!! Van Persie scores for Arsenal!

  • 38'

    Confirmation of the sub now, with Orr on for Lowe.

  • 37'

    Very iffy goalkeeping from Szczęsny as he looks to claim a high free-kick, but the flag is up for offside.

  • 36'

    A sub is announced over the speaker system, but it has been delayed as Lowe looks to run it off.

  • 35'

    Seen a replay of the Rosicky challenge. Lowe got to the ball first and the Czech's momentum carried him through onto his ankle. Looks a bad injury, although he has now just got to his feet and is being helped to the touchline. Probably should have been a yellow.

  • 34'

    Lowe is receiving treatment, with the stretcher out, following a foul from Rosicky. No card brandished.

  • 33'

    1-1, then. And you just felt it when Blackburn won that free-kick. Pedersen trotted up and executed a wicked free-kick that Szczęsny got a hand to but could not prevent from dropping into the top corner. Like a rocket it was.

  • 33'

    GOAL!!! Pedersen scores for Blackburn!

  • 32'

    Free-kick to Blackburn in a dangerous position...

  • 31'

    Van Persie wriggles on the edge of the box and tries a right-footed effort, which he gets a little wrong and the shot drops a few feet wide.

  • 30'

    Quite a few empty seats at the Emirates today.

  • 29'

    Arsenal work their way down the left and win another corner. The ball is whipped in but Blackburn keep things tight to ensure the attack fizzles out.

  • 28'

    Koscielny reads the game well as Blackburn probe forward.


    Robin van Persie celebrates with Theo Walcott after opening the scoring

  • 27'

    Nzonzi is in the book for a late challenge on Rosicky, who is in some discomfort.

  • 26'

    Very nearly 2-0. Mertesacker nods the corner back across and there is a stretch from Koscielny. The ball ends up on top of the roof of the net.

  • 25'

    ANOTHER corner to Arsenal. Pressure mounting as they push for a second.

  • 24'

    The corner is only half-cleared and Rosicky tries his luck from 20 yards out. The swerving shot has Robinson scrambling but it zips past the post.

  • 23'

    Corner to Arsenal after tricky work from the Ox on the right.

  • 22'

    Blackburn finally enjoy some possession. But they are forced back to Robinson.

  • 21'

    Arsenal have the ball back though.

  • 20'

    Walcott's cross is deflected to Rosicky, whose scissor kick hits a defender. Arteta follows up the rebound but drags it well wide. Ultimately, it was poor decision making from Walcott.

  • 20'

    Blackburn are struggling to get near the ball at the moment, without fouling that is.

  • 19'

    Excellent tracking by Arteta is greeted with applause. Real chance for Arsenal to make a statement of intent here following the early goal.

  • 18'

    A ball is clipped over the Blackburn defence and Walcott looks to nip in, but Givet is across to cover and clear.

  • 17'

    It's a little flat but Mertesacker almost gets a head to it. Goal kick.

  • 16'

    Free-kick to Arsenal in an interesting area after Song was felled by Nzonzi. RVP to curl a cross in...

  • 15'

    Both players are up and on their feet. Should be ok.

  • 14'

    Modeste is booked for the challenge. Seems harsh, as it was just his momentum which took him into the goalkeeper.

  • 13'

    Pedersen ships a ball into the path of Modeste, and the forward throws a boot at it before the ball bounces back off Szczesny. Modeste seems to have hurt both the goalkeeper and himself.

  • 12'

    Van Persie drives the corner into the centre but it's headed clear.

  • 12'

    Walcott now wins a corner. Arsenal have had 80% possession so far.

  • 11'

    Walcott's cross is deflected out of play for a throw in, while Olsson looks to have taken a small knock.

  • 10'

    A neat piece of play sees Arsenal work Oxlade-Chamberlain into some space on the left of the area. He drives the ball across the face of goal but there's nowhere there to divert home.

  • 9'

    Arteta goes down under a challenge from Modeste in the Blackburn half.

  • 8'

    Van Persie receives the ball in the area, but as he chests down the ball is snatched away.

  • 7'

    The Ox is looking lively as another attempted throughball is cut out.

  • 6'

    Pederson gets away down the right and floats in a decent cross, but it's headed clear and Arsenal counter-attack. Oxlade-Cahmberlain makes the space, but he pulls his shot well wide of the goal.

  • 4'

    Van Persie receives the ball in plenty of space down the right flank, but he knocks it back for Coquelin and the cross is cleared.

  • 3'

    Oxlade-Chamberlain then threatens to cause problems down the left flank, but this time Blackburn get it away. Great start for Arsenal, but Blackburn are in a state here.

  • 2'

    Robin van Persie is left with the simplest of finishes as Coquelin slips the ball through to Walcott after a poor clearance, and the England winger squares to leave the Dutchman an open goal.

  • 2'


  • 1'

    The Arsenal fans are in good voice despite the frustrations of late.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF Modeste gets the game underway.


    Blackburn, of course, beat Arsenal 4-3 at Ewood Park.


    Both sides are in desperate need of a win, with Arsenal in danger of losing touch with the top four and Blackburn in danger of losing their Premier League status.


    Blackburn: Robinson, Lowe, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Dunn, Modeste. Subs: Bunn, Formica, Orr, Rochina, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Hanle.


    Arsenal: Szczesny, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Arshavin, Benayoun, Ramsey, Park, Henry.


    Be sure to check out our preview of this encounter, written by Mark Lomas.


    ESPNsoccernet's James Dall will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of Arsenal against Blackburn, which kicks off at 13.00 GMT.