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Arsenal   6 - 2   Blackburn

By Ian Hughes

Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas is congratulated by Rosicky after making it 4-2

Arsenal produced a performance of flair and invention to hammer Blackburn.

Rovers struck first when Steven Nzonzi headed in from Paul Robinson's free-kick before Thomas Vermaelen lashed in a 20-yard drive to level.

David Dunn made it 2-1 to Rovers with a deflected shot before Robin van Persie coolly slotted home from 12 yards.

Andrey Arshavin's low shot put Arsenal ahead before Cesc Fabregas volleyed in, Theo Walcott slotted home and Nicklas Bendtner's drive sealed the romp.

It was the perfect start for Arsene Wenger as he entered his era as the longest-serving Arsenal boss - he celebrated 13 years in charge of the club in midweek.

And all the hallmarks of Wenger's influence on the Gunners were on display as they put on a masterclass of attacking brilliance and creativity - but they also showed glimpses of defensive frailty.

Wenger praises 'clinical' Arsenal

While Fabregas was at his imperious best, running through the full range of his passing - and scoring with a sweet strike - there was also hesitation at the back from Arsenal and a susceptibility to the long ball.

And Rovers took full advantage of that early on when keeper Robinson launched a free-kick from within his own half and Nzonzi out-jumped Vermaelen to loop in a header.

But Arsenal look more resilient this season and while they might have folded against a Sam Allardyce side in the past, they quickly regained their composure.

They almost equalised when Fabregas headed against the bar and Arshavin's cross-cum-shot zipped narrowly wide before they got the leveller through Vermaelen.

The centre-back might have been at fault - along with keeper Vito Mannone - for Rovers' opener, but he made up for that with a fierce drive into the bottom corner from outside the box.

As Arsenal threatened to completely dominate, Fabregas twice tested Robinson, who made smart saves.

And from Robinson's second stop, Rovers stunned Arsenal by launching a counter-attack that ended in Dunn scoring via a defection off William Gallas.

606: DEBATE
TheGunnerTB

Arsenal's response was almost immediate, as Fabregas slid a pass between two defenders for Van Persie to take one touch and rifle a low shot into the bottom right corner.

Fabregas was involved again when the Gunners took the lead for the first time, another precise pass from the Spaniard playing in Arshavin to slot in.

The creator almost turned scorer when he met Tomas Rosicky's superb cross with a header but Robinson made another fine save and Pascal Chimbonda scrambled the ball clear.

But as Arsenal threatened to run riot, they almost undid their good work again but Vermaelen fortunately got away with a challenge on Dunn that should have handed Rovers a penalty.

'Blatant pen' was turning point - Allardyce

And while the visitors were thoroughly outclassed for long spells, they did still have their chances.

Martin Olsson's fierce volley was pushed away by Mannone and, later, Vermaelen headed David Hoilett's volley against his own post.

Before that Van Persie could have added to Arsenal's lead had he headed the ball rather than chesting it down and allowing Robinson to smother.

Opportunities kept on coming for Arsenal, though, and it was fitting that their fourth goal was scored by the outstanding Fabregas, who volleyed in with the outside of his boot.

The breathtaking demonstration of the Gunners' free-flowing football showed no sign of abating and Abou Diaby shot narrowly wide before Alex Song's point-blank header was kept out brilliantly by Robinson.

Walcott hopeful of England call-up

Moments later, Fabregas' sublime lay-off invited substitute Walcott to shoot and the England winger, making his first appearance of the season after injury, cracked home a fine shot.

Fellow substitute Bendtner had a chance to score Arsenal's sixth but could not convert a one-on-one chance.

However, the Dane did get on the score sheet when he let fly with a thumping drive from outside the box that flew in off the post.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn FT
(HT 3-2)
  • Vermaelen 17
  • Van Persie 33
  • Arshavin 37
  • Fabregas 57
  • Walcott 75
  • Bendtner 89
  • Nzonzi 4
  • Dunn 30

Arsenal

Substitutes

Blackburn

Substitutes

Ref: WaltonAtt: 59,431
ARSENAL
BLACKBURN

Possession

  • Arsenal 64%
  • Blackburn 36%

Attempts on target

  • Arsenal 18
  • Blackburn 7

Attempts off target

  • Arsenal 6
  • Blackburn 0

Corners

  • Arsenal 8
  • Blackburn 1

Fouls

  • Arsenal 9
  • Blackburn 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:11 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+2:34 Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Steven Nzonzi gets a block in.
  • 90:00+1:39 Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • Correction - 88:39 GOAL - Nicklas BendtnerArsenal 6 - 2 Blackburn Nicklas Bendtner fires in a goal from just outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn.
  • 88:39 Aaron Ramsey provided the assist for the goal.
  • 88:39 GOAL - Nicklas BendtnerArsenal 6 - 2 Blackburn Goal scored by Nicklas Bendtner from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn.
  • Correction - 88:23 Alexandre Song Billong takes a shot. Clearance by Gael Givet.
  • 88:23 Alexandre Song Billong takes a shot. Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
  • 87:40 Robin van Persie takes a short corner.
  • 86:07 The offside flag is raised against Vassiriki Diaby. Pascal Chimbonda takes the free kick.
  • 85:03 Foul by Theo Walcott on El-Hadji Diouf, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 80:34 Theo Walcott takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 79:12 Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 76:20 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 75:43 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Nicklas Bendtner coming on for Andrey Arshavin.
  • 75:43 Substitution Aaron Ramsey is brought on as a substitute for Francesc Fabregas.
  • 74:33 Francesc Fabregas provided the assist for the goal.
  • 74:33 GOAL - Theo WalcottArsenal 5 - 2 Blackburn Theo Walcott fires in a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 5-2 Blackburn.
  • 73:00 Vassiriki Diaby has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • Correction - 73:00 Vassiriki Diaby has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • Correction - 72:08 Shot by David Hoilett. Thomas Vermaelen gets a block in.
  • 72:08 David Hoilett takes a shot from 12 yards. Save by Vito Mannone.
  • 70:41 Short corner taken by Francesc Fabregas from the left by-line.
  • 69:15 Substitution David Hoilett on for Benedict McCarthy.
  • 68:24 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Theo Walcott coming on for Tomas Rosicky.
  • 66:10 William Gallas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson. Free kick taken by Benedict McCarthy.
  • 64:36 Francesc Fabregas handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Benedict McCarthy produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Vito Mannone.
  • 63:25 Robin van Persie takes a corner.
  • 62:01 Tomas Rosicky produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 60:43 William Gallas takes the indirect free kick.
  • 60:43 Substitution Benedict McCarthy on for David Dunn.
  • 60:43 Franco Di Santo is caught offside.
  • 59:09 David Dunn takes a shot. Save by Vito Mannone.
  • 57:26 Foul by Gael Clichy on Steven Nzonzi, free kick awarded. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.
  • Correction - 56:16 Tomas Rosicky provided the assist for the goal.
  • 56:16 The assist for the goal came from Tomas Rosicky.
  • 56:16 GOAL - Francesc FabregasArsenal 4 - 2 Blackburn Francesc Fabregas scores a goal from just outside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Arsenal 4-2 Blackburn.
  • 54:29 Substitution Morten Gamst Pedersen on for Brett Emerton.
  • 53:26 Shot by Tomas Rosicky. Save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 53:01 Foul by David Dunn on William Gallas, free kick awarded. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.
  • 52:03 Shot from long distance by Francesc Fabregas goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 50:20 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 49:57 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 49:07 David Dunn takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.
  • 48:43 Martin Olsson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Vito Mannone makes a save.
  • 48:03 Brett Emerton fouled by Alexandre Song Billong, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by David Dunn, Francesc Fabregas manages to make a clearance.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:43 The referee blows for half time.
  • 45:00+3:21 Unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas by Keith Andrews results in a free kick. Thomas Vermaelen takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:00+2:25 Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 45:00+2:25 Booking Robin van Persie is given a yellow card.
  • 45:00+2:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Robin van Persie on Pascal Chimbonda.
  • 45:00+1:10 Andrey Arshavin decides to take the corner short.
  • 45:00 Andrey Arshavin is ruled offside. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 44:19 Corner from left by-line taken by Andrey Arshavin.
  • 43:57 Tomas Rosicky crosses the ball, Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 42:52 Andrey Arshavin is ruled offside. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 40:51 The offside flag is raised against David Dunn. Free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
  • 38:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bacary Sagna by El-Hadji Diouf. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • 36:35 The assist for the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
  • 36:35 GOAL - Andrey ArshavinArsenal 3 - 2 Blackburn Andrey Arshavin gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-2 Blackburn.
  • 35:49 The assistant referee flags for offside against William Gallas. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 35:05 Centre by Andrey Arshavin, clearance by Keith Andrews.
  • 34:49 Francesc Fabregas takes a short corner.
  • 34:18 The referee blows for offside. Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.
  • 32:20 Assist by Francesc Fabregas.
  • 32:20 GOAL - Robin van PersieArsenal 2 - 2 Blackburn Robin van Persie fires in a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-2 Blackburn.
  • 32:05 Unfair challenge on Francesc Fabregas by David Dunn results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
  • Correction - 30:00 GOAL - David DunnArsenal 1 - 2 Blackburn David Dunn fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-2 Blackburn.
  • 30:00 Brett Emerton provided the assist for the goal.
  • 30:00 GOAL - David DunnArsenal 1 - 2 Blackburn David Dunn fires in a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-2 Blackburn.
  • 29:37 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 25:16 Unfair challenge on Vito Mannone by David Dunn results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
  • 22:22 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 18:25 Robin van Persie challenges Pascal Chimbonda unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 17:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Robin van Persie on Gael Givet. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 16:28 The assist for the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
  • 16:28 GOAL - Thomas VermaelenArsenal 1 - 1 Blackburn Thomas Vermaelen scores a goal from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-1 Blackburn.
  • 15:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by El-Hadji Diouf on Bacary Sagna. Bacary Sagna takes the direct free kick.
  • 15:02 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Francesc Fabregas misses to the left of the goal.
  • 14:38 Corner taken by Francesc Fabregas played to the near post, Keith Andrews makes a clearance.
  • 14:18 David Dunn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 10:31 Francesc Fabregas takes the free kick. Andrey Arshavin has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • Correction - 10:31 Booking Franco Di Santo is shown a yellow card.
  • 10:31 Francesc Fabregas takes the free kick. Andrey Arshavin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
  • 10:31 Booking Booking for Franco Di Santo for unsporting behaviour.
  • Correction - 9:45 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Franco Di Santo challenges Bacary Sagna unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 9:45 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bacary Sagna by Franco Di Santo.
  • 9:30 The official flags Franco Di Santo offside. Direct free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
  • 7:38 Brett Emerton concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Clichy. Gael Clichy takes the free kick.
  • 6:49 Shot from just outside the box by Tomas Rosicky misses to the left of the goal.
  • 5:33 Vassiriki Diaby handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Lars Jacobsen.
  • 3:38 Paul Robinson provided the assist for the goal.
  • 3:38 GOAL - Steven NzonziArsenal 0 - 1 Blackburn Steven Nzonzi finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn.
  • 3:09 Martin Olsson fouled by Bacary Sagna, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 2:15 Keith Andrews gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy. Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.
  • 1:59 Brett Emerton takes a shot.
  • 1:08 David Dunn fouled by Robin van Persie, the ref awards a free kick. El-Hadji Diouf takes the direct free kick.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

4 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn R
Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool R
Everton 1-1 Stoke R
West Ham 2-2 Fulham R

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 4 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 8 12 21
2 Man Utd 8 11 19
3 Tottenham 8 7 16
4 Arsenal 7 14 15
5 Liverpool 8 10 15
6 Man City 6 7 15
7 Sunderland 8 3 13
8 Aston Villa 6 4 12
9 Burnley 8 -9 12
10 Everton 7 -2 10
11 Stoke 8 -4 9
12 Wigan 8 -7 9
13 Bolton 7 -1 8
14 Birmingham 8 -3 7
15 Fulham 7 -4 7
16 Blackburn 7 -7 7
17 Wolverhampton 8 -7 7
18 Hull 8 -12 7
19 West Ham 7 -3 5
20 Portsmouth 8 -9 3

see also
Wenger excited by Arsenal future
05 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Allardyce hits out at ref Walton
05 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
04 Oct 09 |  Football
Sunday football as it happened
04 Oct 09 |  Football



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