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Premier League

  • 17 September 2011
  • • 12:45
  • • Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 22637

Blackburn 4-3 Arsenal: Song & Koscielny both score own goals in Rovers fightback to ease pressure on Kean as Wenger’s troubles mount

Blackburn 4-3 Arsenal: Song & Koscielny both score own goals in Rovers fightback to ease pressure on Kean as Wenger’s troubles mount

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The Ewood Park faithful begin the day with a protest against the club's management but finish on a high after a seven goal thriller puts them above the Gunners in the table

Blackburn Rovers beat Arsenal 4-3 at Ewood Park to ease the pressure on manager Steve Kean and further compound Arsene Wenger's misery.

Rovers' fans had staged a pre-match protest against the management of Kean but the Scot may have bought himself more time following a win that was heavily reliant on some impressive counter-attacking football.

Arsenal quickly settled into their familiar passing game while Blackburn looked to hurt the Gunners on the counter, Junior Hoilett raced past Bacary Sagna in just the second minute but his cross was comfortable for Szceszny.

The Gunners took the lead, however, in the 10th minute, Alex Song's slide rule pass found Gervinho who struck the ball through Chris Samba's legs and into the corner of Paul Robinson's goal.

Both sides continued to create chances, Samba inexplicably headed wide with a free header and Arshavin's volley was smartly saved by Robinson.

Gervinho then had a chance to double his tally but skewed his effort badly following Sagna's cut-back and he was punished as Rovers went up the other end and scored through Yakubu who prodded first-time past Szceszny from Hoilett's though-ball.

Arsenal went in at the break ahead, however. Aaron Ramsey surged down the right wing and cut the ball into the box where Mikel Arteta was waiting to slam home his first Gunners goal.

They should have had a two-goal cushion at half-time. Gervinho played his way into the Blackburn area and faced with a choice of going himself or playing in Robin van Persie he dithered on the ball and his effort was easily charged down.

Gervinho's mistake was punished again early in the second half, Ruben Rochina drifted a free-kick over and under no pressure Alex Song failed to react and saw the ball bobble in off his knee.

Blackburn were suddenly energised and had a golden chance to take the lead for the first time in the match as Mauro Formica was played through but could not beat Szceszny when one-on-one.

Gunned down | Van Persie, Ramsey & Arteta contemplate defeat at a rainy Ewood Park

However, the hosts did finally take the lead just before the hour, Junior Hoilett's deep corner found N'Zonzi who drove the ball across the face of goal, leaving Yakubu the simple task of scoring his second of the afternoon, although he appeared to have done so from an offside position.

Rovers then extended their lead through a second own-goal of the afternoon with Yakubu and Martin Olsson combining in a lightning quick counter-attack following an Arsenal corner.

After hurdling Djourou's challenge and beating Song, Olsson's cut-back went in off a helpless Koscielny as the pressure began to alleviate from Steve Kean's shoulders and fall on Arsene Wenger's.

Arsenal were frantically searching for a way back into the game but found Rovers' backline, in particular Paul Robinson, determined not to be beaten again. The former England No.1 saving spectacularly from Van Persie's header.

Robinson was beaten again, however, with five minutes remaining as Van Persie's cross was met by substitute Chamakh who thundered his header home.

Per Mertesacker then had a glorious opportunity to equalise for Arsenal but his towering header flew over the bar when the German should have done better, Van Persie also had an effort saved from an acute angle and Chamakh headed wide as Rovers fought doggedly to keep hold of all three points and heap further misery on the Gunners.