For the first time in what feels like a long-time Arsenal took virtually all of their chances to record an emphatic 7-1 victory at the Emirates stadium against a lowly 10-man Blackburn side. A hat-trick to Van Persie, a brace to Chamberlain and a goal each for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry sealed a memorable win for the gunners and is sure to be a great confidence boost on the back of disappointing results in recent weeks.
The first thing to acknowledge is the fact we are back on the right track after previously only securing a solitary point in the last four matches. It was extremely important for the gunners to rebound from the recent disappointing results and they did so in style. While an emphatic win, even if it turned out to be a hard-fought 1-0 win getting the three points was the most important outcome.
Another significant aspect that has to be said is the performance of our wingers in this match. Walcott was tearing the Blackburn defence to shreds with his pace and ghosting runs while on the other side of the pitch Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined athleticism with intelligence to secure a well deserved brace and surely has cemented a permanent place in the first-team. It is scary how composed he looks for someone so young.
The last thing I would like to touch upon is the performance of Tomas Rosicky. Admittedly young Aaron Ramsey has endured a sub-standard passed few weeks in terms of performances and tonight surely Rosicky has Ramsey sweating over his starting position after the experienced Czech midfielder put in a very solid performance. While he was overshadowed by team-mates today, he looked more dangerous than Ramsey and may be rewarded for this good performance in coming weeks.
We look forward now to the upcoming match against Sunderland and hopefully the gunners can conjure up a strong winning run. This performance should provide a solid platform to build on!
on a memorable afternoon…
I felt that recently we had quite good performances but did not get the results. Today we got the performance and the result, which is ideally what you want. I do not give much importance to the seven goals, it is just important we won and played well.
on Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott…
As you know, they are English! I feel providing today was as important as scoring. The flanks provided very well and scored through Alex. Robin is an exceptional football player and you could see that with his movement in the box, which could be shown in every football school. When you feed him in the box, he is deadly.
on why he didn’t take Van Persie off…
Alex Chamberlain played three games for the first time in his career. He had a stiff neck at half-time, so I did not want to take a gamble with him. Then we had a problem with Koscielny, and I wanted to give some playing time to Benayoun.
on maintaining the pressure against 10 men…
We remained serious and were guided by the way we want to play football and not by any extravagant individualism. That is positive. We were mature and serious, we played together until the end.
on scoring so many goals..
It was important to the confidence of the side that we win a game and get three points but the result in itself will not make us win at Sunderland. What will make us win there with the confidence we got today is to continue to play the way we did today. Every game is a new challenge and Sunderland are in a good spell as well. We have to be ready for that.
Coquelin Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
Walcott Van Persie (c) Chamberlain
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.0: Had little to do throughout the match, besides a failed attempt to keep out Pedersen’s excellent free-kick.
Francis Coquelin | 7.0: While the Frenchman is still being palyed out of position, he didn’t fail to impress in the right-back position. Looked assured on both attack and defence, grabbing an assist for Van Persie’s third goal and also having a big-hand in the Dutchman’s first.
Per Mertesacker | 7.0: A very comfortable match for the big German who when was troubled dealt with the danger with ease. Dominated in the air when needed.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.0: Bagged an assist and looked unusually dangerous in the oppositions penalty area. Dealt with Blackburn’s attempted attacks with ease, although did give away the silly foul that lead to Pedersen’s well taken free-kick.
Thomas Vermalen | 7.0: Doesn’t really look at home in the left-back position, but easily dealt with any danger. Got forward on occasion and was unlucky when he hit the woodwork.
Alexandre Song | 7.5: The Cameroon midfielder had significant involvement in Arsenal’s attack today and showed his ability to split the opponents back-line with great through balls. Superb ball for Walcott to set up Van Persie.
Mikel Arteta | 8.0: His link-up play was crucial to the gunners and finished the match with a superb passing success rate. Was simply the engine behind Arsenal’s midfield. Took a well-deserved goal.
Tomas Rosicky | 7.0: The experienced Czech played a solid match as Arsenal’s attacking midfielder and seemed to be more dangerous than the out-of-sorts Ramsey who has been below par in recent weeks.
Theo Walcott | 8.0: The gunners played the ball where the Englishman likes it most, in behind the defence. His electrifying pace and his work-rate led to three great assists. The next step is to consistently put in performances of this calibre.
Robin van Persie | 9.5: Superb display by the Arsenal captain with a well taken hat-trick as well as two assists. While he made it look easy, his finishing was second to none and his through ball for Chamberlain’s first goal was simply breathtaking.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 9.0: Has both great intelligence and tireless athleticism. The young Englishman is surely securing a regular spot in the gunners first-team with two very composed finishes coupled with great work-ethic and build -up play.
- Notable substitions
Thierry Henry | 7.0: The Arsenal legend finished up the match in style, linking up with Van Persie to score with the last kick of the match.
Bacary Sagna | 6.0: The Frenchman simply did what was required when he came on with 20 minutes to go. Hopefully he is close to regaining match fitness.