Emmanuel Adebayor scored a hat-trick as Arsenal ended as comfortable winners at Ewood Park.
The Togolese striker scored his first at the stroke of half-time headering the ball home, the second from the spot and finished off by rounding the keeper.
It was an open start to the match but Arsenal took the lead in the ninth minute courtesy of Van Persie, Theo Walcott dribbling in from the left before sliding the ball to the Dutchman to poke the ball in.
Walcott was brimming was confidence as typified by the mazy run for the goal and generally more demanding of the ball though he also had a chance of his own when shooting wide from an Arsenal counter attack. Adebayor played him in and from outside the box and he shaped to shoot in the top corner similar to Thierry Henry but missed the target.
Blackburn certainly held their own in the first half and looked a threat from the wings playing in high balls to the forwards. The wide men also joined in the attack as their presence and height caused danger. Santa Cruz had a couple of good chances while good defending from the Gunners prevented scoring opportunities at least twice. The positioning of the Arsneal and Blackburn central midfielding came into question at times allowing both teams chances to score but Arsenal put the game in doubt with the second goal.
The movement from the strikers was superb as was the passing around the box and it was a mixture of the two that got Arsenal the second. The ball eventually found it’s way to Denilson on the left and he crossed in for Adebayor’s first, Warnock and Nelsen caught ball watching.
The second half was all Arsenal and made it three from the spot. Eboue adjudged to have been brought down by Warnock and the Ivorian hurt himself in the dive. Adebayor slotted the ball home, Robinson getting his fingertips to it. The striker then completed his hat-trick in the last minute recieving a through ball from league debutant Ramsey before rounding the keeper and finishing with his left. Wilshere also made his debut.
Blackburn had let in 7 goals already this season and were tipped for more by Arsenal Column though it was a bit of a surprise to play Andrews who was playing in the third tier last season. The scorline may have slightly flattered Rovers judging by the first half but in truth didn’t look like getting anything out of Gunners.
Arsenal: Almunia(7), Sagna(6), Toure(7), Gallas(6), Clichy(6), Eboue(6), Fabregas(7), Denilson(6) (Ramsey 7), Walcott(7) (Song 6), Van Persie(8) (Wilshere 5), Adebayor(9)
Blackburn: Robinson (6), Simpson (6) (Derbyshire 5), Samba (5), Nelsen (5), Warnock (4), Emerton (7), Reid (6), Andrews (6), Pedersen (5) (Treacy 5) Santa Cruz (7), Roberts (5) (McArthy 5)
Star Man: Emmanuel Adebayor– Scored a hat-trick but his movement was great though caught offside a bit too much.
Performance Rating: 3.5/5– Good performance from the Gunners though yet to fully gel together in central midfield which will only make them better once they do. Blackburn were hit by injuries and it showed in this laboured performance.
|Blackburn Rovers||Team Statistics||Arsenal|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|3||Shots on Target||9|
|7||Shots off Target||7|