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4 - 3

Ewood Park



We can only wonder what was said in the dressing rooms at the half time break, as Blackburn turned around a 2-1 deficit, taking all 3 points, emerging victorious against an Arsenal outfit lacking the confidence of a top 4 footballing team, 4-3.

With David Goodwillie and Dunn failing fitness tests, Yakubu was handed a debut start up top, with Jason Lowe sitting in midfield for Blackburn.

Salgado, Samba, Dann, Givet
Lowe, Nzonzi

With the Ewood faithful in full voice following a vocal protest outside the ground, Arsenal were always in for a tough encounter, with Blackburn Manager Steve Kean fighting calls for his job, whilst senior Rovers players coming out and insisting they are behind the Scot.

Arsenal took early control of the game, free-flowing football they have become renowned for dominating early procedures. Gervinho looked lively, whilst Van Persie attempted to break at every opportunity. His cause was helped by Arshavin, the Russian's pace testing Salgado. However it was Song who unlocked the Rovers defence to create the first key opportunity. A surging run ended with a delightful throughball for Gervinho, scoring his first goal after his shot took a minor deflection of Chris Samba. 1-0 Arsenal

Rovers were shaky early on, but signs of an attacking threat came through wingers Ruben Rochina and Junior Hoillet. Both players were lively, taking on their man at every possible opportunity. However a setback for Rovers early on, as Salgado was forced off the pitch, replaced by Serbian Radoslav Petrovic. Lowe slotted into right back whilst Petrovic filled the midfield.

Minutes later, scores were levelled. Junior Hoillet picked up ball in midfield, the Arsenal defenders peeled off, expecting a trademark surging run, however Hoillet split the defence with a deft pass, finding Yakubu who cheekily trickled the ball with the outside of his foot past Sczcesny and into the far corner of the net. 1-1

The crowd lifted as Rovers sensed Arsenal were vulnerable, however it was the Gunners who maintained the pressure. Givet looked vulnerable on the left flank, whilst Gervinho was a constant threat, moving across the front line with ease. With 10 to go in the first half, Arsenal reclaimed the lead. Aaron Ramsey raced down the right flank and into the box, cutting back for Mikel Arteta who had skipped past his marker, blasting into the top corner of the net. 2-1 Arsenal

You could sense there would be more goals in this encounter, and Arsenal would be counting their chances as they should of gone 3-1 up before the break. Arshavin found Gervinho, who decided to dance around in the box, with an unmarked Van Persie screaming to his right. A desperate lunge by Samba deflected Gervinho's attempt, and sent Rovers into the break down by 1.

The heat was turned up in the second, with some sharp words exchanged in the Rovers shed. Hoillet continued to pressure, whilst Formica decided to involve himself in the encounter. Rovers were given a free kick just outside the box on the right flank 5 minutes in. Up stepped Rochina, his chipped free kick sent into the back of the net by Song, an own goal. 2-2

The equaliser further livened up the atmosphere, both teams now pushing for the winner. Dann was proving to be immense in defence for Rovers, whilst the same couldnt be said for the Arsenal halves. Hoillet whipped in a corner with 30 to go, the loose ball finding an unmarked Nzonzi past the far post. His powerful drive found Yakubu sitting pretty meters out, and a touch offside, however the Assistant waved play on as Yakubu found the net, Blackburn 3 Arsenal 2

Martin Olsson was introduced into the game for Rochina, and the change had immediate results. Scooting down the right flank, Olsson skipped passed his marker, sliding down the by-line before cutting the ball back across goal. With the approaching Yakubu, Arsenal decided to be a bit generous and ensure the ball found the net for the second time, this Koscielny putting the ball in his own net. 4-2 Blackburn

Vukcevic found some game time for Rovers, whilst Arsenal started to push further up the field in the hope of drawing a goal back. Paul Robinson was on his toes though, 2 superb saves from Van Persie. Chamakh though found the net in the 85th minute, heading in from 6 yards out after out-foxing Givet. 4-3 Blackburn

The final 5 minutes plus the additional 4 felt like they went for an hour. Arsenal peppered the Rovers box, forcing Paul Robinson to pull out all the stops, including a 6 yard point blank save, whilst Mertesacker did his part, heading over from 4 yards, ensuring Blackburn take all 3 points and Steve Kean fights to live for another day!

Star Player

Yakubu- Took his chances, moved well off the ball and was a constant pest in the Arsenal box. If he can continue this then we may just have our 15-20 goal striker!

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 8

Immense final 15 minutes ensured Rovers got all 3 points. Would be extremely dissapointed with his positioning on the first goal, and whilst conditions were not the best, his distribution was not up to his standards

Michel Salgado

Went off early, our worrying lack of depth might become an issue

Scott Dann 8

We have a player on our hands here. He is quality, has great positioning and is not afraid to make a tackle

Chris Samba 7

Led the troops well, just feel their is something missing to his game at the moment, maybe a lack of the Chris Samba agression of old?

Gael Givet 6

Looks to struggle with holding his width. Not sure if he has been given instructions to tuck in, just appears to leave too much space for the opposing winger

Steve Nzonzi 8

Very solid performance from the Frenchman. Took the game to his own, moved the ball well and countered the threat of Song coming through the middle

Jason Lowe 7

Did not see much of the young man at central midfield but did a real solid job when called upon at Right Back

Ruben Rochina 8

Another outrageosly talented player we have coming through. He turns his man with ease, and knows a pass when he sees one

Junior Hoillet 9

Please, contract, now, whatever he wants. A constant threat, can skip around the outside, cut inside, and slot a pass

Mauro Formica 5

Did not see him for 85 of the 90 minutes. Not impressing at the moment

Yakubu 9

Well well well. A bargin signing he may just become. What a cheeky finish for the first, and in the right place at the right time for the second

Petrovic 6

Starting to gel into the game. Still needs to work on his explosiveness, but his tackling and passing was much better

Olsson 7

Looked extremely dangerous, and faster than normal....Does he deserve a starting spot? Interesting question

Simon 6

Looked a touch off the pace, but showed a nice passing range in the few minutes he had

Date:Saturday September 17 2011
Time: 3:40PM

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Too many high numbers for me. Arsenal were shocking. Rochina was useless. Never knows when to get rid of the ball. N'Zonzi was shocking first half, maximum rating of 6 for each of them!! Jason Lowe was brilliant, 8 or 9 for me! Rest I agree with!
17/09/2011 15:46:00
trust the yak to always deliver!... wonder why everton let him go!
17/09/2011 15:46:00
The only reason we let him go is because of Moyes' stubborness, if you cross the line with Moyes it is goodbye as far as he is concerned. I always knew Yak for 1mil will be a bargain, and the two finishes sum him up really, clinical finisher, intelligence around the box and the poacher instinct, saw it in both his goals. As we say, Feed the Yak and he will score!!
17/09/2011 15:59:00
feed him whatever he wants!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAKUBUUUU might just have taken the role as Sas' favourite Rover....Still miss Emo though :D
17/09/2011 16:01:00
Congrats Blackburn, from a Spurs fan. May Arsenal plumb previously unknown depths.
Cape Town Spurs
17/09/2011 16:02:00
Spurs fan. Great game. May be, I will start seeing some Blackburn games from now on. Atleast there is no hoofball now. Hoillet looks a good player. I see Hoillet feeding the Yak throughout the season. Thanks.
17/09/2011 16:22:00
arsenal's awesome attack was matched by our good defense. Our good defense undid Arsenal's terrible defense. You're wrong about one thing today, though and that's hoilett. He gave the ball away numerous times and just stood there when it happened. But that's not the big thing. He didn't help Givet at all and he needs to learn that fast. Everytime the ball came to Givet's area, he had two arsenal players to defend. Do you want to try doing that?! He did not play bad at all. Hoilett needs to EARN a new contract after that performance. SO happy with the result! Hate reading things like "arsenal beat themselves against a relegation-bound blackburn". Can they just give us a LITTLE credit?! Also full credit to Steve Kean here. Job well done.
17/09/2011 16:28:00
I had to calm myself down fom not crying after whistle , wow what rovers can do to a grown woman ,estatic with our win and three precious points ! We only need 36 more coyb ;)
17/09/2011 17:36:00
Terrific result today. Yakubu scored two that JRob would still be thinking about and deserves his 9 rating. Hoilett was a constant threat going forward but needs to protect his full back better if he's playing out wide. Amazing run by Olsson on the break for the second o.g. A really, really good day at the office:)
17/09/2011 19:04:00
anybody else think that 6 for Givet is unfare, i thought he had an excellent 2nd half...! he made a lot of important interceptions and headers. Great finishes by Yakubu today. Really showed he is a natural goal scorer.
17/09/2011 19:14:00
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