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Premier League

  • 4 February 2012
  • • 13:00
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 59643

Live Commentary

  • The final word on today's LIVE! action will come from's man at the ground Josh Clarke who gives us his full-time update. "LIVE! Full time here at the Emirates and I've been treated to an Arsenal side at it's potent best. Oxlake-Chamberlain and Robin van Persie have been the star draws but it was a display from the home side which shows exactly what they're capable of. Arsene Wenger's men are finally off the mark in 2012."
  • The full-time whistle blows here at The Emirates and Arsenal have romped out 7-1 winners. There are few superlatives to describe Arsenal's performance today though the Arsenal fans will be wondering why they cannot produce this kind of performance on a more consistent basis. Blackburn were poor and the scoreline is in no way harsh on them, they must pick themselves up quick if they are to get out of the relegation zone.
  • 90' + 3'
    Goal Thierry Henry
    And with virtually the last kick of the game Thierry Henry has scored to cap off the perfect afternoon for The Gunners. Grant Hanley was caught in possession by Henry who broke before passing to Van Persie who unselfishly passed back to his teammate to slotted in with the aid of a deflection.
  • 90' + 3'
    Assist Robin van Persie
  • 90' + 2'
    Paul Robinson has been at no fault for any of the goals today as he has been awarded near no protection though he has prevented the scoreline from getting any worse as he saves well from Yossi Benayoun who fired well but straight into the arms of the overworked goalkeeper.
  • 90'
    Just 3 minutes of added on time here for the Blackburn fans to endure though the final whistle is sure to be met by a rapturous applause by the Arsenal fans who were starting to become somewhat restless after recent results.
  • 88'
    A rare venture forward from Blackburn is wasted as Modeste miss-controlled a Pederson cross though it would have brought very little to the glum faces of the Blackburn fans.
  • 86'
    Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
  • 85'
    Penalty shout turned down for Arsenal after Grant Hanley barges Van Persie off the ball. Walcott was looking for the Dutchman but the Blackburn defender stepped across with real force but more importantly fairly to let the ball run out for a goal-kick.
  • 82'
    Arsenal have been passing the ball around the Blackburn penalty area for the last few minutes as they try to tee up Thierry Henry. Eventually Walcott dinked a ball to the legendary Frenchman at the back-post though Scott Dann heads clear to prevent Henry from getting in on the act.
  • 79'
    Going into the last 10 minutes now and this one is cooling off after what has been an incredible tempo - maybe the Arsenal players feel they have punished the Blackburn players enough for one day.
  • 76'
    A good spell of possession then for Blackburn though they have no intention of going towards goal as they try to run the minutes down without further embarrassment.
  • 73'
    Almost an own goal by Grant Hanley after a cross from Bacary Sagna though to his relief it went just wide. A slice of luck for the visitors who would have needed a lot more than that to have come away from today with anything.
  • 72'
    SubstitutionAlex Song Yossi Benayoun
  • 70'
    As Wenger continues to make changes with the points safe the Blackburn players will be wishing the minutes away though with 20 minutes left I would not be surprised if we see another goal yet!
  • 68'
    SubstitutionLaurent Koscielny Bacary Sagna
  • 68'
    SubstitutionAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain Thierry Henry
  • 67'
    Arsene Wenger has now withdrawn Oxlade-Chamberlain to be replaced by Thierry Henry - lets hope the youngster's substitution doesn't back-fire like last time!
  • 65'
    Oxlade-Chamberlain has been simply superb this afternoon and Josh Clarke at The Emirates has given us his take of you youngster's performance; "Oxlade-Chamberlain for England? It will surely be hard for Fabio Capello to ignore the teenager after this display. He’s been sensational this afternoon and I don’t think I’d be wrong to say that the teenager has coaxed the best out of Theo Walcott too."
  • 63'
    Oxlade-Chamberlain played a magnificent cross field pass to Coquelin who took on Olsson before playing a simple square ball to Van Persie who smashed it in. The Dutchman will not have scored an easier hat-trick, despite Arsenal's brilliance Blackburn have defended extremely poorly.
  • 62'
    Assist Francis Coquelin
  • 62'
    Goal Robin van Persie
    Exhibition stuff from Arsenal as Van Persie completes his hat-trick and piles the misery on Blackburn. 6-1 to Arsenal!
  • 58'
    Incredible skill from Oxlade-Chamberlain as he shimmys past numerous Blackburn defenders on the left wing before delivering a deep cross for Arteta who volleyed over. The young Arsenal winger has been outstanding and after this performance expect more calls for him to be included in the next England squad.
  • 55'
    Walcott picked up the ball wide right before driving into the area and when it looked as though he was going to try and take on all of the Blackburn defence he slid the ball the Oxlade-Chamberlain who whipped the ball into the near corner to cap a superb display.
  • 54'
    Assist Theo Walcott
  • 54'
    Goal Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    It is turning into a rout here at The Emirates as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores again to all but guarantee Arsenal the three points!
  • 51'
    Assist Laurent Koscielny
  • 51'
    Goal Mikel Amatrian Arteta
    It hasn't taken Arsenal long to extend their lead further and's Josh Clarke who is at the Emirates gives us his take of the goal; " A corner is tamely cleared by Rovers and as Koscielny flicks a leg at it, the ball diverts into the path of Mikel Arteta who duly obliges to drive in a low effort from the edge of the box."
  • 48'
    First shot of the second-half goes to Blackburn's Bradley Orr as he tries his luck from the edge of the area. It was nice build-up play involving N'Zonzi and Orr decided to curl an effort for the far corner but Szczesny had all of his body behind the shot. Maybe a statement of intent early on from Blackburn there.
  • 46'
    The second-half gets underway and its Arsenal that kick-off. Living up to that first-half will be a hard task but stick with as I update you on this sparkling encounter.
  •'s man at the ground Josh Clarke gives us his half-time update; "In the space of 10 odd minutes Blackburn have completely thrown this one away. Though that’s not to take anything away from Arsenal who have attacking with devastating potency in the latter stages of this half. No matter how many superlatives you throw at Robin Van Persie, I don’t think you can do him justice. His assist for Oxlake-Chamberlain’s goal is up there with the passes of the season for me."
  • And there goes the half-time whistle at the Emirates with Arsenal leading 3-1 against Blackburn. A half full of goals and incidents so lets hope the second half continues in the same vein but as things stand they go into the dressing room to recoup after that breathtaking 45 minutes of action.
  • 45' + 1'
    SubstitutionDavid Dunn Grant Hanley
  • 45'
    Five minutes of added on time here that has been one of the most eventful half's of Premier League football there has been this season. Truly captivating stuff at the Emirates.
  • 43'
    Red Card G. Givet
    In what is a manic 10 minutes here Gael Givet has just been sent off for a two-footed lunge on Van Persie. The Frenchman can have no complaints as another Premier League player falls foul to the most strictest of rules.
  • 41'
    Yellow Card Martin Olsson
  • 41'
    Just half way into the Blackburn half Walcott squared to Van Persie who dropped the shoulder before playing a beautiful pass for Oxlade-Chamberlain who rounded Robinson with consummate ease to roll the ball in. Top stuff from Arsenal here.
  • 40'
    Assist Robin van Persie
  • 40'
    Goal Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    And straight from the restart Arsenal have scored again and it was a beautiful team goal finished off by Oxlade-Chamberlain! 3-1 Arsenal!
  • 39'
    Precision football from Arsenal as Alex Song played a perfectly weighted ball for Walcott who once more crossed incisively to Van Persie who replicated the first with a simple tap in.
  • 38'
    Goal Robin van Persie
    This game is end to end and Blackburn's defence has been breached once more as Robin Van Persie scores to give Arsenal the lead!
  • 38'
    Assist Theo Walcott
  • 36'
    SubstitutionJason Lowe Bradley Orr
  • 35'
    A hopeful long ball into the Arsenal area almost gifts Blackburn the lead. Szczesny came charging out for the ball looking to punch clear though he gets nowhere near leaving his goal completely open though to his relief N'Zonzi is flagged offside.
  • 33'
    It was a hopeful ball up to Modeste who holds up the ball and draws a silly foul from Koscielny on the edge of the area and he was made to pay as Pederson found the top corner with a superb free-kick. Blackburn don't deserve to be level though will be delighted to bounce back from that terrible start.
  • 32'
    Goal M. Pedersen
    And completely against the run of play Morten Gamst Pederson silents the Arsenal crowd with a brilliant free-kick into the top corner!
  • 31'
    Yellow Card Laurent Koscielny
  • 28'
    Blackburn are pinned in their own half at the moment - they are really struggling for an outlet up front. The visitors just can't keep possession.
  • 25'
    Yellow Card Steven N'Zonzi
  • 25'
    From the resulting corner Arsenal go close to doubling their advantage. A deep cross was nodded down by Mertasacker and with Koscielny looking to divert it in N'Zonzi nicks in to try and clear though his touch goes just over his own bar.
  • 23'
    Another corner for Arsenal after Dann and Lowe team up to block Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross. The Arsenal youngster is looking very dangerous this afternoon.
  • 20'
    More defending for Blackburn here as Walcott crosses for Rosicky whose volley is blocked by Dann and then Arteta hits the loose ball though it is deflected for a corner. Possession stats thus far read Arsenal 68% to Blackburn's 32% which tells a story on its own.
  • 18'
    Blackburn are struggling to hold on to the ball here as they try to settle into this one, the last thing they need is another Arsenal goal which could effectively end this contest very early on.
  • 16'
    There were rumours this afternoon that Arsenal fans were going to cover all the empty seats in the Emirates with black bin-bags in protest, though's man at the ground, Josh Clarke tells us this has not happened. "LIVE! By the way, for those who cared, binbag-gate looks to be a total non event. I can see a lot of black in the terraces but I can also see a lot of red empty seats, leading me to presume that black is just a sea of well wrapped up spectators. Oh well."
  • 15'
    Yellow Card Anthony Modeste
  • 14'
    Worrying moment for Arsenal fans as Szczesny needs treatment following a clash with Modeste with the Blackburn striker receiving a harsh yellow card for his challenge.
  • 12'
    The worst possible start for the visitors who would of been hoping for a tight opening half hour though they must now attack Arsenal looking for a goal without talisman Yakubu who is still suspended.
  • 9'
    Arsenal are looking in ruthless form this afternoon as they go close once more. Arteta played a perfect through ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain who slid the ball across the face of the goal though Van Persie was just a few yards behind the youngster's pass.
  • 6'
    Blackburn have their first attack as Pederson dinks a cross to the far post but Mertesacker heads clear allowing Arsenal to counter. Oxlade-Chamberlain has a shot from the edge of the area that goes well wide and is sharp to apologize to his teammates for spurning an opportunity to pass. Electric start to this one..
  • 3'
    Walcott has come in for some criticism this year though he delivery for Van Persie was perfect for the Dutchman who had the most simple of tap-ins at the back post. A nightmare start for Blackburn who now have the joint worst defence in the Premier League alongside with Wigan.
  • 2'
    Assist Theo Walcott
  • 2'
    Goal Robin van Persie
    And in just the 2nd minute Arsenal have taken the lead through Robin Van Persie after a great cross from Theo Walcott!
  • 1'
    Its Blackburn that get this game underway and will be hoping for a quick start to shake off any early nerves that they and their fans might be having this afternoon.
  • Line ups: Arsenal: Szczesny; Coquelin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Song, Arteta, Rosicky; Walcott, Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Substitutes: Fabianski, Sagna, Ramsey, Benayoun, Henry, Arshavin, Park. Blackburn: Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Lowe, Dann, Givet, Olsson; Petrovic, Dunn, Gamst, Nzonzi, Hoilett; Modeste. Substitutes: Bunn, Orr, Hanley, Rochina, Vukcevic, Goodwillie, Formica.
  • Good afternoon and welcome to's live commentary of Arsenal v Blackburn. Both sides will be desperate for a result although for very different reasons. The Gunners have lost 3 of their last 4 games that has got the club in an uphill battle for a Champions League spot this season while Blackburn have enjoyed an upturn in form of late though still find themselves in the bottom three.