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Barclays Premier League

Ewood Park (ATT 22,637) 17th September 2011 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: Andre Marriner

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Arsenal Arsenal

Blackburn 4

Yakubu (25, 59)
A Song (og 50)
L Koscielny (og 68)


Arsenal 3

Gervinho (10)
M Arteta (34)
M Chamakh (85)

Sky Sports 2 HD

Yak attack stuns Gunners

Sloppy Arsenal score two own goals in Ewood Park thriller

By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp.   Last Updated: 17/09/11 6:45pm

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Gervinho fired Arsenal ahead, but the Gunners were made to pay for defensive blunders

Gervinho fired Arsenal ahead, but the Gunners were made to pay for defensive blunders

Yakubu bagged a brace for Blackburn and Arsenal scored two comical own goals as the pressure eased on under-fire Rovers boss Steve Kean with a 4-3 victory at a soggy Ewood Park.

Man of the Match: Martin Olsson - Introduction had a big impact on the game and Arsenal could not cope with his pace. Huge part in the killer fourth goal. Moment of the Match: The Alex Song own goal which drew Blackburn level and gave them hope they could win the game while any confidence for the visitors seems to ebb away very quickly. Attempt of the Match: Per Mertesacker's close-range header that went over - it looked easier to score. Save of the Match: Paul Robinson kept out Robin van Persie from close range as Arsenal sought an equaliser in a desperate last few minutes. Talking Point: Arsenal now have the leakiest defence in the Premier League and there looks to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

But for Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who hoped a corner had been turned after last week's unconvincing victory over Swansea and the midweek draw away to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, it is back to the drawing board after some truly dismal defending.

Twice the North London club led against a side who had previously been unable to claim three points in the Premier League, with Gervinho applying a fine finish to Alex Song's slide-rule pass after just 10 minutes and then Mikel Arteta driving home Aaron Ramsey's cut-back before the interval.

However, the demons which emerged in the recent 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford rose back to the surface as the powerful Yakubu first showed a deft touch to divert Junior Hoilett's beautiful pass beyond Wojciech Szczesny.

Song could then only deflect Ruben Rochina's clipped free-kick beyond his own goalkeeper early in the second half before Yakubu showed his poacher's instincts to tap home from close range after Hoilett's deep corner went all the way to the far post where Steven N'Zonzi drilled the ball back in across box.

And things went from bad to worse for the visitors in the 68th minute as a lightning break from the home side saw Martin Olsson released down the right where he drove into the box and fired across goal for the hapless Laurent Koscielny to turn the ball home.

Subsitute Marouane Chamakh set up a grandstand finish with his fine header from Robin van Persie's cross five minutes from time, but the Gunners could not find an equaliser as Kean, who came under fire with a demonstration from home fans prior to the game, celebrated three vital points.

Arsenal had given Kean just the start he must have feared when Gervinho scored his first goal for the Gunners in the 10th minute.

Song's masterly run in midfield was followed by a peach of a through-pass that Gervinho ran on to and hit first-time, the ball going through Chris Samba's legs and across Paul Robinson into the far corner.


Samba exposed Arsenal with a free header at a free-kick - but high and wide - before Andrey Arshavin then brought a sprawling save out of Robinson with a sharp low shot from 20 yards.

Gervinho then wasted two more chances to extend the lead, and Rovers made the Gunners regret such largesse when Yakubu brought the scores level with the neatest of finishes in the 25th minute.

Arsenal had half-cleared the ball but Hoilett produced a pass to match Song's, and Yakubu instinctively nudged it past the on-rushing Szczesny to score.

Samba's presence at set-plays continued to upset Arsenal, who had been heavily linked with a move for the giant Congo defender in the summer, and he won a corner but again headed over.

Ten minutes before the break a patient Arsenal build-up led to an incisive move that saw the Gunners regain the lead. Ramsey surged into the box on to Song's pass and, with Blackburn's defence expecting a ball to Van Persie at the near-post, cut the ball back for Arteta to rifle the ball into the roof of the net.

It was the Spaniard's first goal for Arsenal - but his second against Blackburn this season, having scored a last-minute winner for Everton from the spot.

Gervinho was wasteful again after good work by Arshavin, taking the shot when a pass to van Persie would have given his skipper an open goal, and Scott Dann blocked well.

Blackburn began the second half with obvious urgency and Arsenal looked rattled when Arshavin conceded a free-kick on the left of the area five minutes after the break.

Fear justified

Such fear was justified when Rochina floated in the free-kick and the ball bounced off Song's knee and into the net for an own goal.

Fired up by the equaliser, Rovers went on a series of offensives ending with Yakubu stunning Arsenal and putting the home side ahead for the first time.

Hoilett's corner ended up at Nzonzi's feet at the far post and he drove the ball at goal with Yakubu - with a suspicion of offside - stabbing it in from close range.

Van Persie glanced a corner wide of the post as Arsenal tried to respond, but it was Blackburn via another own goal who struck.

Olsson's pace destroyed Johan Djourou and he then nipped past Song and crossed - with Koscielny deflecting the ball into the empty net.

Robinson tipped over van Persie's header with 15 minutes left before Wenger threw caution to the wind, sending on Chamakh for Song.

The Rovers keeper again saved with his finger-tips from Van Persie, but with five minutes left on the clock the Gunners skipper produced a stunning cross and Chamakh out-jumped both centre-backs to plant a header in the top corner.

There was a nervous end for Kean when Per Mertesacker had a clear header a few yards out in injury time but he sent the ball on to the roof of the net, while Robinson stood up well to beat away a powerful drive from Van Persie.

Blackburn RoversTeam StatisticsArsenal
11st Half Goals2
4Shots on Target9
3Shots off Target7
1Blocked Shots7
2Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
70.9Passing Success85.7
66.7Tackles Success82.4
39.9Territorial Advantage60.1

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
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1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30