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Barclays Premier League

Ewood Park (ATT 24,917) 19th August 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Wiley

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Arsenal Arsenal

Rovers gifted draw by Lehmann

Goalkeeping gaffe ensures a point apiece

Last Updated: 20/08/07 6:52am

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Van Persie: Opening goal

Van Persie: Opening goal

Arsenal and Blackburn preserved their unbeaten records with a bruising 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

The Gunners opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Robin van Persie fired home from close range after Brad Friedel spilled a weak effort from debutant Eduardo da Silva.

Blackburn came back strongly after half-time and were rewarded after 72 minutes when Jens Lehmann made his second howler of the season to let in David Dunn's powerful, but straight, shot from outside the area.

Ryan Nelsen was then sent off in the closing stages as both sides battled in vain for something more than a point.

Van Persie opener

Arsenal took the lead when Van Persie took advantage of some poor goalkeeping from the normally reliable Friedel, as he failed to deal with Eduardo's shot after Theo Walcott had headed the ball on.

Nelsen and Dunn both had chances to clear but failed to do so and Van Persie took advantage for his second goal of the season.

Arsenal looked strong but manager Arsene Wenger was forced to make a change in the 25th minute when William Gallas limped off to be replaced by Philippe Senderos.

Blackburn almost drew level in the 34th minute following a free-kick from David Bentley that concluded with Nelson hitting the post from close range.

The home side, though, were still looking vulnerable at the back and a mistake by Stephen Warnock let in Walcott, with Nelsen dragged out of position. Walcott was in two minds whether to shoot or cross and failed to trouble Friedel in the home goal.

Then Senderos delivered a goal-bound header a minute before the break, only to see Christopher Samba make the clearance.

Bentley then tried to curl a free-kick beyond Lehmann in the 53rd minute but his effort failed to trouble the goalkeeper.

A good spell by Blackburn followed and Roque Santa Cruz sent a header narrowly wide of the post in the 57th minute, following a free-kick from Bentley.

Matt Derbyshire almost equalised three minutes later, when he got on the end of a cross from Bentley but Kolo Toure made a vital interception.

There was controversy in the 62nd minute when Cesc Fabregas handled Samba's effort on the line but referee Alan Wiley awarded Arsenal a free-kick for an infringement.

Howler

Then came Lehmann's howler, which allowed Dunn to score his first goal in his second spell for the club.

However, a good afternoon's work was soured somewhat when they were reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute, as Nelsen picked up his second yellow card of the game for a challenge on Van Persie.

Arsenal, though, could not take advantage.

Blackburn RoversTeam StatisticsArsenal
1Goals1
01st Half Goals1
2Shots on Target2
9Shots off Target5
2Blocked Shots5
5Corners4
19Fouls15
6Offsides2
3Yellow Cards4
1Red Cards0
70.1Passing Success68.9
23Tackles17
65.2Tackles Success88.2
48.7Possession51.3
53.8Territorial Advantage46.2

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 8 22
2 Southampton 9 19
3 Manchester City 9 17
4 West Ham United 9 16
5 Arsenal 9 14
6 Swansea City 9 14
7 Liverpool 9 14
8 Manchester United 8 12
9 Hull City 9 11
10 Tottenham Hotspur 8 11
11 Stoke City 9 11
12 West Bromwich Albion 9 10
13 Aston Villa 8 10
14 Everton 8 9
15 Crystal Palace 9 9
16 Leicester City 9 9
17 Sunderland 9 8
18 Newcastle United 8 7
19 Burnley 8 4
20 Queens Park Rangers 8 4

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