63 hours after a disappointing 0-0 draw at Bolton on Wednesday night, Arsenal improved their performance this lunch time with an emphatic 7-1 dismantling of Blackburn Rovers.
Although pre match odds were an unbackable 1.29, Arsenal turned out to be the safest bet of the day as they cruised to victory. Robin van Persie opened the scoring inside 2 minutes when he broke away from Scott Dann in the middle of the Blackburn defence to tap in from a couple of yards following Theo Walcott’s cross. This would be the start of the Dutchman’s hat trick.
From the start, Blackburn’s defence was a mess and looked very vulnerable to the attacking combination of van Persie, Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With the absence of Chris Samba and the departure of Ryan Nelsen, there was no cohesion between the back four fielded by Steve Kean at the Emirates today.
Morten Gamst Pedersen’s equalising free kick after half hour was only ever going to be a consolation. It was Blackburn’s first shot on goal and there was very little to show for after.
2 goals in the space of 3 minutes between van Persie and Oxlade-Chamberlain put Arsenal in a comfortable position before Gael Givet’s straight red card for a nasty lunge on the Dutch striker before half time killed off the game.
Arsenal were 6-1 up just after the hour before they took their foot off the gas. Thierry Henry scored his 175th Premier League goal in stoppage time with help of a big deflection off Scott Dann to complete the rout.
Incredibly, Paul Robinson made just 1 save in this match (from Yossi Benayoun) as Arsenal scored 7 from 8 shots on target. This only makes the goalkeeping stats look even worse for Paul Robinson this season.
On Wednesday night, at the Reebok Stadium produced 4 saves from Bolton’s Adam Bogdan as the Hungarian collected his first Premier League clean sheet. Both Robin van Persie and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain only forced 1 save from the keeper, whilst firing 3 off target each.
This opening fixture of the Premier League weekend has moved Arsenal up to 5th position, whilst Blackburn remain 19th.
Data provided by Opta Sports