• Date: Mon 03 May 2010
  • Venue: Ewood Park
  • Ref: Atkinson, M
  • Attendance: 26,138
Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers

Dunn (43)

Samba (68)

2 - 1
Arsenal

Arsenal

van Persie (13)

Blackburn Rovers vs Arsenal

Team Lineups

Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson
Christopher Samba
Gael Givet
Ryan Nelsen
Martin Olsson
Michel Salgado
David Dunn (Phil Jones, 85)
Vince Grella (David Hoilett, 58)
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Keith Andrews
Jason Roberts

Arsenal

Lukasz Fabianski
Bacary Sagna
Mikael Silvestre
Armand Traore
Sol Campbell
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Samir Nasri
Theo Walcott
Emmanuel Eboue (Da Silva Eduardo, 78)
Robin van Persie
Carlos Alberto Vela (Andrey Arshavin, 67)

Match Report
Blackburn Rovers rounded off their home season in super style with a deserved 2-1 victory against long-time title contenders Arsenal. Sam Allardyce's men came from behind to clinch maximum points with goals from Chris Samba and David Dunn as they avenged a heavy defeat at the Emirates Stadium in October. In the week of the race for number ten Downing Street, it was Rovers' tenth home win of the season and took them into tenth place in the Premier League table. For leading scorer Dunn, his goal just before half-time which cancelled out the Gunners' 14th-minute strike from Robin van Persie, was his tenth of the season. The result maintained Rovers' unbeaten home record against the so-called 'top four', as they had previously drawn at Ewood Park against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. Samba returned to the Rovers side after injury and was preferred as captain to fellow defender Ryan Nelsen. Teenager Phil Jones, who turned in man-of-the-match shows against Chelsea and Manchester United, had to be content with a place on the bench. Arsenal, 6-2 winners against Blackburn at the Emirates earlier in the season, named Russian danger-man Andrey Arshavin among their substitutes after his recovery from injury. The Gunners had the first chance of the game on three minutes when Rovers keeper Paul Robinson found himself stranded as Theo Walcott showed a typical burst of pace to race onto a throughball from midfield. But as Walcott laid the ball back, Carlos Vela shot wide of the empty net. Three minutes later, Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski got down well to keep out a free-kick from Morten Gamst Pedersen awarded for a foul on Dunn by Abou Diaby 25 yards out. Arsenal took the lead on 14 minutes when a free-kick from the left by Samir Nasri was headed on at the near post by Bacary Sagna and van Persie continued his fine run of scoring form against Rovers by heading in from point-blank range at the far post. Just before the half-hour mark, van Persie had a free-kick from 20 yards out parried by Robinson and Michel Salgado put it behind for a corner. At the other end, a free-kick from the right by Pedersen was smartly tipped over by Fabianski. On 36 minutes, Rovers' Jason Roberts made a good run into the box and laid the ball back but both Keith Andrews and Dunn miskicked and an effort from Pedersen, following up, was blocked. Two minutes before the break, Rovers were level through Dunn. Sol Campbell needlessly conceded a corner and Pedersen's from the left was touched on by Samba to Nelsen, who passed to Andrews on the right-hand edge of the six-yard box. His cross fell at the far post to Dunn, who made no mistake from close range. Ten minutes into the second half, Rovers had claims for a penalty waved aside after Pedersen was put through in the box by Dunn. The Norwegian's shot was saved by Fabianski and, as he chased the rebound, he was challenged by Campbell but the referee gave a corner. Rovers were dominating and on 68 minutes took the lead, again from a Pedersen corner, this time awarded after Mikael Silvestre put the ball narrowly wide of his own goal. Pedersen floated his kick in just under the bar and Samba headed home from point-blank range.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Blackburn 2 Arsenal 1: Goals from Dunn and Samba give Rovers victory. It means a third defeat in four for Arsenal, despite van Persie's opener and they could yet be overtaken by Spurs for third on the final day.

90

There will be a minimum of four minutes of added time for Arsenal to seek out an equaliser.

89

Firm challenge from Campbell and he receives a yellow card. It looks as though Pedersen jumped out of the way and Campbell won the ball.

87

Arsenal corner as Jones puts it behind when dispossessing Diaby.

85
Substitution
 

Blackburn substitution: Phil Jones comes on in a defensive move by Sam Allardyce and he'll replace David Dunn for the final five minutes.

84

Time is starting to run out for Arsenal here and it looks as though they may go into the final game still needing a result to finish third. The last thing Arsene Wenger would want is an August qualifier in the Champions League.

82

Walcott gets inside the area and shoots, but it comes off of Givet and out for an Arsenal corner.

81

It's becoming a frustrating afternoon for Arsenal. Blackburn have sat deep and defended really solidly and they've put them under real pressure at every opportunity from set pieces. Could Spurs still nick 3rd place ahead of the Gunners?

80

Comical moment as Nelsen runs over towards the dug-outs to play the ball and slips on the astroturf emblem between the dug-outs and goes sliding all the way out almost into the dressing rooms.

79

Long throw-in by Pedersen is flicked on by Samba, but Arsenal clear.

78
Substitution
 

Arsenal substitution: It's been a positive switch from Arsene Wenger, with Eduardo coming on to replace Eboue.

77

Free-kick to Blackburn for a foul by Nasri. It's another chance for Blackburn to pump a ball into the Arsenal box.

75

Corner to Arsenal on the right-hand side. It's floated in, but Robinson comes out to punch clear.

74

Cross from Hoilett, but it's easy for Fabianski to claim at the near post. He has made a decent impact on this game since his introduction though.

73

Nasri bursts into the penalty area and finds Arshavin, but his effort is straight at Robinson.

72

Rovers are looking full of confidence now and Arsenal look bereft of ideas in attack.

70

Dunn floats it towards the far post and it goes just over. Fabianski looked to be struggling if that was on target.

70

Silvestre brings down Roberts on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, about a foot outside the "D".

68
Goal
 

Blackburn 2 Arsenal 1: Samba has the easiest of headers to put Blackburn in front from the corner with Fabianski nowhere. Rovers are good value for their lead in this second half.

67

Long throw-in from Pedersen and Silvestre so nearly puts the ball in his own net. Corner to Blackburn. The home side look so dangerous from set pieces.

66
Substitution
 

Arsenal substitution: Andrey Arshavin comes on to replace Carlos Vela who has had a disappointing afternoon.

65
Yellow Card
 

Silvestre finds himself in the book for pulling back Roberts.

64

Olsson has the ball in the net at the other end but he's adjudged to have made his run too early. It looks a really tight decision.

63

Lovely ball in by Walcott finds van Persie, who brings it down and looks like his foot may have been taken from him by Salgado as he went to shoot. Decent chance for Arsenal.

61

Late challenge by Hoilett on Silvestre and he's lucky to escape a booking for that one.

60

Dunn takes the ball away from Diaby. He plays it in to Hoilett who has a decent chance, but Fabianski makes another save at the expense of a corner to the home side again.

58
Yellow Card
 

Terrible looking mis-timed tackle by Pedersen on van Persie and the yellow card comes out straight away for the Blackburn man.

58
Substitution
 

Blackburn substitution: David Hoilett comes on to replace Vince Grella.

57

Sagna plays the ball into van Persie inside the penalty area. He shoots right-footed, but hits it well wide from 10 yards with his weaker foot.

55

Appeals for a Blackburn penalty. Pedersen gets in on goal. Fabianski makes a decent save and then Campbell comes in with a clumsy challenge and the Blackburn players all appeal for a spot kick, but it's only a corner.

53

Hesitation in the Blackburn defence between Samba and Robinson and in the end Salgado puts it behind for an Arsenal corner.

51

It's been a relatively quiet start to the half. Neither keeper has been tested since the restart. Blackburn are content to sit deep and let Arsenal play in front of them and it could become a frustrating half for the Gunners.

48

Dunn plays the ball through for Andrews, but the flag goes up and it's offside against the Blackburn man.

47

Blackburn moves forward for Blackburn, but he loses possession and Arsenal break forward with the ball.

46

Walcott tries to beat Givet down the right hand side and he wins an early corner for the visitors.

Second half
 

The visitors get the second half underway, looking to re-establish a lead that could give them only their second win in eight games in all competitions.

Half time
 

Blackburn 1 Arsenal 1: David Dunn's goal at the end of the half sends the sides in level after van Persie had given Arsenal the lead. It was a decent start for the visitors, but Rovers have continually put Arsenal under pressure from set pieces.

45

van Persie clashes heads with Grella inside the centre circle and he stays down needing some attention from the Arsenal physio.

45

There will be a minimum of one minute of added time at the end of this half.

43
Goal
 

Blackburn 1 Arsenal 1: The pressure from set pieces finally tells. The corner is played as far as Andrews. he crosses and David Dunn is on hand to tap home from all of a yard.

42

Robinson punts a long ball up towards Roberts and Campbell is forced to head behind for a corner under pressure.

41

Arsenal receive a free-kick midway inside the Blackburn half on the right. van Persie sends the ball in towards Campbell, but Blackburn clear.

40

Blackburn come forward again with Roberts, but Sagna dispossesses him and the Blackburn striker fouls Sagna to give Arsenal a free-kick.

38

Walcott tries to go beyond Grella, but the Blackburn man gets a toe in and knocks the ball out for a throw-in to Arsenal level with the edge of the penalty area. It's been a rare attack from the visitors, who have done little since the goal.

36

Long throw-in into the Arsenal area by Pedersen. Roberts heads it on and Fabianski under pressure from a number of Blackburn players manages to collect the ball. The home side really are trying to put the pressure on the Arsenal keeper.

35

The game has become a little flat over the past few minutes and the home support has been a little quiet as well.

33

Pedersen floats the corner in and Fabianski gets caught under the ball and again finds himself on the ground after being challenged by three or four Blackburn attackers. It looks like they've targeted the keeper as a weak link.

33

Blackburn earn a free-kick after a series of challenges over on the right-hand side near the corner of the Arsenal area. Pedersen goes for goal and Fabianski is forced to turn the ball over for a corner.

30

Free-kick to Arsenal 30 yards from goal again. van Persie takes the kick. It goes through the Blackburn wall and Robinson does well to tip it behind for a corner.

27

Free-kick to Blackburn chipped in by Pedersen. Abou Diaby gets his head to it and Sagna clears at the far post.

26

Eboue dragged down from behind cynically by Dunn and yet he gets away without a booking. More inconsistency from referee Martin Atkinson. Free-kick though to Arsenal 30 yards out.

25
Yellow Card
 

Eboue moves froward into the Blackburn half and is brought down from behind by Grella. It's a yellow card for the Blackburn man, which looks a little harsh after the one he let Diaby get away with.

24

Fabianski does well to deal with another ball into the Arsenal area, but he goes down from the latest attempt to collect and he needs some treatment.

22

It's been typical stuff from Blackburn so far in attack, a few long punts forward by Robinson and throw-ins by Pedersen looking to put pressure on the Arsenal defenders and goalkeeper, but the visitors have coped well so far.

21

Long throw-in by Pedersen into the Arsenal box, but Campbell heads clear. The ball is played into the area again, but it goes straight through to Fabianski.

18

Robinson launches another long ball into the Arsenal box. Samba goes down and turns to the referee looking for a foul by Campbell, but nothing given.

16

Robinson launches a long ball into the Arsenal area, but Roberts commits a foul on Fabianski and Arsenal have a free-kick.

15

Arsenal are really starting to take charge of this game now. How they must rue the poor April they had, which saw their title challenge fall away.

13
Goal
 

BLACKBURN 0-1 ARSENAL: Corner to Arsenal. The ball is played into the area by Nasri and VAN PERSIE, who loves playing against Rovers, heads home to give Arsenal the lead.

11

Olsson almost gets in behind the Arsenal defence but the referee spots an earlier infringement and Arsenal have a free-kick.

10

Eboue plays it forward for Vela on the counter attack for Arsenal. The ball comes into the Blackburn penalty area and Givet is let off missing the ball as the referee's assistant raises his flag for offside.

9

Dunn plays it long down the channel looking for Roberts, but Fabianski comes rushing out to clear away for a throw-in to the home side.

8

It's been a fairly even opening to this game. Blackburn started well, but Arsenal have started to get more control of the game.

6

Pedersen shoots from the free-kick, but Fabianski gets across comfortably and makes the save.

5

Traore gives the ball away easily and Pedersen comes forward for Blackburn. He plays it on to Dunn who gets brought down by Diaby and the referee wants a word with the Arsenal man. It could so easily have been a yellow card for the Arsenal man.

2

What a chance for Arsenal and Vela has missed an open goal from three yards. Walcott uses his pace to latch onto a forward pass. He plays the ball across the box and somehow Vela scoops it wide.

1

Early free-kick for Blackburn 10 yards from the edge of the Arsenal area. van Persie clears the first ball in and Campbell volleys clear for a throw-in when the ball is turned back into the Arsenal area.

Kickoff
 

There's been a few minutes delay to the start of this match, but the game is now underway, with the home side kicking off.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Cesc Fabregas was in inspired form for the Gunners when the sides met in October as they swept to a 6-2 victory. Without their captain and leading scorer, Sam Allardyce will fancy his chances especially at home, where Blackburn have been more solid.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Rovers have also not won in the last four matches, however, they have taken a point at home to three of the other "Big Four", with draws against Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

In the head-to-heads Blackburn have not won in their most recent seven Premier League encounters and have lost the last four.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

The return of Robin van Persie from a long-term injury, however, is a welcome one for Arsene Wenger. He has scored seven times in as many matches against Blackburn, more than he has scored against any of the other top flight clubs.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal are now three league games without a victory, equalling their worst run of the season. In fact, the Gunners have won just won of their last seven games in all competitions and that was a last gasp win at home to Wolves.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

After a disappointing April, which saw them knocked out of the Champions League and the end of their Premier League title aspirations with defeats at Tottenham and Wigan, Arsene Wenger will be looking for his team to end the season strongly.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal's Russian attacker Andrey Arshavin was doubtful with a calf problem but takes his place on the visitors' bench.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Both Christopher Samba and Brett Emerton missed Blackburn's break in Scotland whilst receiving treatment, but both are available again this afternoon. Samba starts for the hosts, whilst Emerton is on the bench.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal team line-up: Fabianski, Sagna, Campbell, Silvestre, Traore, Eboue, Diaby, Walcott, Nasri, Vela, van Persie

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Blackburn team line-up: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Andrews, Grella, Dunn, Pedersen, Olsson, Roberts