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Played
February 16, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 60070‎
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn

Arsene Wenger's decision to play a weakened team backfired thanks to a brilliant defensive display from Michael Appleton's team and Colin Kazim-Richards' late goal

By Jay Jaffa at Emirates Stadium

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    7
    49
    2.00

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Was a spectator for almost the entirety of the game but sometimes that can lull goalkeepers into a false sense of security. It proved to be the case as his ill-advised parry from Martin Olsson's shot landed at the feet of Kazim-Richards, who powered a finish in off the post.

  • Laurent Koscielny
    24
    23
    3.00

    Laurent Koscielny

    Largely untroubled throughout the contest and looked a threat from set-pieces. However, will not be happy with the goal conceded - Olsson should never have been allowed to get as far forward as he did.

  • Monreal
    38
    15
    3.50

    Monreal

    Looks to be a solid capture from Malaga and his side of the flank remained danger-free. Appeared to grow bored of doing his job as half-time approached and fizzed a deflected 35-yard strike just wide of goal. Smashed a half-volley just wide in the final 10 minutes.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    28
    15
    3.00

    Thomas Vermaelen

    Kept Rhodes in his pocket for the majority of the game and was unlucky to see his attacking corner from one of many Arsenal set-pieces drift wide.

  • A. Diaby
    8
    46
    2.50

    A. Diaby

    Mixed game for the Frenchman. He almost opened the scoring but was denied by Kean's fine save. Passing was hit and miss and he had clearly left his shooting boots at home, piling one into the crowd and another nobbling along the deck.

  • Mikel Arteta
    19
    32
    3.00

    Mikel Arteta

    Kept Arsenal ticking along from the base of midfield, as is customary. The trouble was tempo though, and Arteta rarely changed from his slow, considered build-up.

  • Francis Coquelin
    22
    23
    3.00

    Francis Coquelin

    Did a good job at right-back as he trundled forward well and showed good defensive instincts to keep the Olsson's at bay.

  • Tomas Rosicky
    45
    13
    3.00

    Tomas Rosicky

    Struck the shot of the match, thundering one off the underside of the bar and produced a fine through ball that Gervinho should have scored. Faded as his passing went astray and was subbed.

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    9
    41
    2.50

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Looked Arsenal's most potent attacking threat in the early stages and combined well with Coquelin. But as he switched to the left in the second half, he faded and was replaced.

  • Olivier Giroud
    5
    51
    2.50

    Olivier Giroud

    Did not receive one good cross despite being the only target in the box. Played most of the game with his back to goal but never had the service he needs to grab goals.

  • Gervinho
    14
    68
    2.00

    Gervinho Flop of the Match

    Oh dear. Returned from the Afcon but his homecoming was ruined thanks to an awful bit of finishing when in on goal. He did his best to work openings for Arsenal but was often crowded out. Should have got a shot off when in on goal the second time.

Substitutions

  • Santi Cazorla
    16
    26
    3.00

    Santi Cazorla

    Came on to give added creativity but found the wall of Blackburn defenders impossible to breach. Could not fashion a decent shooting chance.

  • Jack Wilshere
    28
    22
    3.00

    Jack Wilshere

    Added drive to the midfield when he came on and you have to wonder why he did not play for the first hour. Without his drive Arsenal look toothless.

  • Theo Walcott
    17
    27
    2.50

    Theo Walcott

    Stuck on the right wing after he came on but rarely had a chance to get forward. Had a great opportunity in the last moments to equalise but headed into Kean's arms. Should have done better.

  • Jake Kean
    29
    5
    4.50

    Jake Kean Top of the Match

    Handled well throughout and made a fine stop from Diaby's header in the first half. Tipped a looping defensive header from Orr around his post and showed good focus to claim an Arteta free-kick. Faced the second-half barrage with admirable confidence and showed superb reflexes when required. Clung on to Walcott's free header from six yards brilliantly to become Blackburn's hero.

  • Bradley Orr
    4
    5
    2.50

    Bradley Orr

    Struggled initially, picking up a booking midway through the half before almost guiding his own header beyond Kean. Was found wanting positionally but was part of a memorable defensive performance.

  • Grant Hanley
    9
    4
    4.00

    Grant Hanley

    Uncompromising at centre-back. Won everything aerially and did his fair share of hoofing from danger too. Had his lack of pace exposed by Rosicky's fine through ball but made a superb last-ditch tackle on Gervinho as he looked to pull the trigger. Stood firm.

  • Martin Olsson
    7
    3
    3.00

    Martin Olsson

    Was given a thorough examination throughout the game but his pace regularly bailed him out of tricky situations. Timed his forward run perfectly in the 72nd minute to fire the shot that Szczesny spilled for the goal.

  • Scott Dann
    7
    3
    4.00

    Scott Dann

    Was dominant in the air and not afraid to put his foot through any stray balls. Got in the way of everything Arsenal threw at his defence

  • Jason Lowe
    4
    3
    3.50

    Jason Lowe

    Worked hard and tracked his runners well in a difficult game for a central midfielder. Had the unenviable task of competing with a midfield trio of stars but helped his defence out magnificently.

  • Lee Williamson
    5
    4
    3.00

    Lee Williamson

    The 30-year-old found the going tough and was caught in possession in a couple of tight spots. Stuck to his job and was chasing shadows for long spells but prevented long-range shooting opportunities well.

  • Morten-Gamst Pedersen
    9
    2
    3.00

    Morten-Gamst Pedersen

    Slotted in on the right but struggled to show his ability in the final third, such was the defensive demands of his role in a 4-4-2. Moved to the left when Bentley came on.

  • Marcus Olsson
    5
    4
    3.00

    Marcus Olsson

    Helped his brother out on the left when he could and was intelligent enough to drive forward when Arsenal over-exposed themselves. Subbed for Bentley after a steady game.

  • Kazım Kazım
    13
    5
    3.00

    Kazım Kazım

    Did absolutely nothing for the majority of the game, before popping up with the opening goal with 18 minutes to play. Hadn't even put a shift in but was on hand to bundle the ball home after Szczesny parried into his path.

  • Jordan Rhodes
    5
    4
    2.50

    Jordan Rhodes

    Showed he lacks the intelligence to go and find the ball and looked very isolated up front as he waited for some form of service. Ran hard but had no joy and was subbed for Goodwillie.

Substitutions

  • David Bentley
    7
    6
    3.00

    David Bentley

    Came on for Marcus Olsson to a cacophony of boos at his first club in English football but slotted into midfield well and will be pleased to be a part of the winning side.

  • David Goodwillie
    4
    5

    David Goodwillie

    Late sub for Rhodes.

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