Arsenal 6 – 2 Blackburn… Serious Burn…

Arsenal 6 – 2 Blackburn
Vermaelen 17, Van Persie 33, Arshavin 37, Fabregas 57, Walcott 75, Bendtner 89

Arsenal 6, Blackburn 2, it’s a scoreline that we seem to like quite a lot down at the Emirates. It was in fact, the same scoreline 3 years ago and that was the season we did quite well… and yesterday’s performance was of the highest quality. Yes, we did go 1-0 down and then 2-1 down, but you could sense in this team that we had the desire to win and even though we were 2-1 down, you simply knew we weren’t going to lose the game.

I had the privilege of being at the game, and the front four of Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin and Van Persie is just a mouth watering proposition – we’ve seen in the last two games that we are so attacking with this type of flair in the team, it’s virtually irresistible. The line up yesterday was:


Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Song – Diaby

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin

Van Persie

Swap Diaby for Nasri and swap Mannone for Almunia and you’ve got what looks close to our first choice XI based on form at the moment… and that’s not including the talents of Walcott, Eduardo and Carlos Vela… or Niklas Bendtner, who scored a sublime sixth goal too… worth a watch!

Due to travel arrangements and the silly tube suspensions on the weekend, I was a little late to the game and when I arrive on the fifth minute, we were one-nil down. In the programme, Vito Mannone had been talking about how he’s focused on keeping a clean sheet, and how he’d managed to do so against Fulham and Olympiakos and then four minutes in, a looping header snuck in to make it 1-0 to the away team… So as you can imagine, as I arrived, I was pretty nervous!

But it wasn’t long before we equalised and a stunning strike by our top goal scorer, Thomas Vermaelen, fizzed in from about 20 yards and we were looking strong. But a counter attack, in which Gallas looked a bit leggy about, saw David Dunn make it 2-1 much against the run of the play. Apart from that incident, I have to say Gallas was outstanding…

But we were determined to win, and a sublime through ball by Cesc to Van Persie quickly restored parity, the Dutchman finishing from the left past the keeper. And in a very similar fashion, this time, Andrei Arshavin leading the line, Cesc again the instigator, it was 3-2 before the break.

Now, if you haven’t watched the game, I really implore you to somehow find the game, on the net, on re-run on ESPN or Sky, even just the highlights on Arsenal TV, it will be worthwhile doing so, because this was one of our best performances of the season and the second half was just sublime – an honour to be a part of… we had a lot of chances in the second half and confidence was very high… and we did indeed manage to score 3 more goals.

The first of the second half and fourth of the tie effectively sealed the game and it was the man of the match, Cesc Fabregas who scored it – left footed, from 20+ yards into the back of the net after some really expansive play and an overhead pass from Arshavin. A deserved goal for our captain and right in front of the visiting Thierry Henry whose presence made it a very special day all round.

The fifth game from a sublime counter attack when Cesc laid it on a plate for Theo Walcott (who came on as a sub) and taking the ball in his stride at pace, he placed it in the bottom left hand corner.

It was good to see Walcott back in action, as our injured players are returning, we are suddenly seeing the strength in depth that we have… And the England International singled out Cesc Fabregas for praise as he said:

“If he plays like he did against Blackburn, nobody will be able to stop him this season. He is fantastic to play with. He is still so young and he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders but he is a fantastic person to learn from.  He played the ball to me for my goal and I didn’t have to break my stride. That’s how good he is. It’s difficult to play amazingly well throughout the whole season. He is only 22 but he has been around for a very long time. He is our captain and he is doing a great job.”

And then there was the excellent individual effort from fellow substitute Niklas Bendtner who received the ball on the left of midfield and cut in (pro-evo style) to hit the ball past the defence and the keeper from outside the box. Yes, it could have been 7 or 8 or 9 goals to the good, but all in all 6 was an impressive performance.

Arsene Wenger had this to say after the game, firstly on Cesc:

“I felt he had already given a good performance on Tuesday night too. He started a little less sharp physically but in the last two or three games he has become stronger and stronger. We know that in every game he creates chances. What is important for him – what he misses – is to score goals and today he scored as well so that’s a relief for him certainly. I have seen him play a few good games. When we go forward as a whole team we always look like we could score and when you look he is always in the middle of it, at the start or at the end. A team goes always naturally through its strong points, the way of the game. So it goes, therefore, through Fabregas.”

And of course, the appearance of Thierry in the crowd did seem to galvanise the team:

“Thierry inspired today our goalscoring because they wanted certainly to show Thierry they can score goals and they are good followers of him. It is good to see him back here although I believe he belongs more to Highbury than to Emirates because certainly, coming back to Highbury, would have more memories than here but we are happy to have him with us. He would have scored today certainly

Okay guys, I’ll leave you to it for now… great performance by the team and a happy International break to go into…

  • wills

    Amazing game yesterday, I was sat on the edge of the box where we scored our first 3, and I have to say, from where I was sat, it looked like Cesc was threading the ball through the eye of a needle for RvP and Arshavins goals!

    The performance yesterday was superb, by far the best of the season, and without Paul Robinson (who I feel deserves to be called up by England ahead of Foster) it could so easily have been 9 or 10! Paul Merson said before the game in an interview, that with the new formation and the attacking talent at our disposal, he believes we will beat our record of 7, and put 8 past someone this season. From yesterdays performance, it looks like we can do 8 and then 9!!

    I don’t think you can fault any of the Arsenal players, everyone played there part, the only mistakes coming from Mannone being in slightly the wrong position for their first, and Sagna being far to far up the field for Dunn’s goal.

    Great to see Walcott back in action, he’s going to struggle getting a place though if we play like that every week with him on the bench. Also, I have to give full credit to Bendtner, in past seasons his confidence has looked low and we’ve all seen him miss some sitters, but to score a goal like that was incredible! I’m pretty sure if Berbatov or Adebay*r had hit it from there, it would’ve been out for a throw in!!

    Unfortunate that there’s the international break now and not another game for 13 days, but lets hope we can carry on in exactly the same manor against Birmingham on the 17th.

    Oh and just a quick word on the Villa v City game tonight which relates to the infamous Adebayor celebration…..Villa lead 1-0 at half time, Richard Dunne with the goal, jumping about none other than Gareth Barry to score the header (you really can’t write this stuff!)….did he run the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the City fans? No. He didn’t celebrate at all, just walked back to his half and got on with the game. That, Ade, is what respected players do, hence, the applause from the City fans and no fine or ban from the FA!

  • harry

    The main difference this season is that we are not reliant on a single striker anymore, with 15 different goalscorers already on target.There is no question that the 4-3-3 with interchangable players is bemusing the opposition though this will always have the possibility of being caught on the counter attack. I think Cesc gave the performance of any one footbaler in the PL so far this season, as in Arshavin,Rosicky and RVP and Nasri and Eduardo to come back,he can play with truly great players who understand his thought process. Vermaelen is a revelation and really is an attacking defender and his one and only slip which led to the first goal was abruptly pushed aside by his wonder goal.His partnership with Gallas is now quite impressive and my only concern is that have we got sufficent cover for either of them. Song is still prone to the odd mistake,again mainly when tracking back, but he is improving dramatically. Then there is Diaby,who though he had a reasonable game showed he is not in the same class as our players mentioned above who played alongside Cesc. Competition for places is what we need and Bedntner,Theo and Vela now have a benchmark to really establish themselves as an alternative. Manonne never ever expected to play this season,and he is a rookie and can only give his best. I heard that Almunia and his wife have personal issues and she wants to go back to Spain and that Denilson may be out for the whole season, as a chipped bone in one’s back is no laughing matter. Finally, I think the club did not organize very well the appearance of TH14 as most who were not in their seats were caught unaware as to his presence.Nevertheless the reception he got was tremendous.Don’t write us off, just yet.

  • Yemi

    I also beleive that our game is better cos the inclusion of rosisky allows cesc to play more upfron and when he drops, rosisky can move up. The 2 players can stand in for each other. Diaby cannot do that, denilson cannot do that

  • Riyadh

    can not belive it the gunners done it this time they are to
    good for any team gunners,arsenal till i die they are just to
    good cesc fabregas i know him i wish chamack was there.