Arshavin edges Arsenal past Blackburn
Arsenal answered Arsene Wenger's concerns over coping with Blackburn Rovers physical style with a deserved 2-1 success at Ewood Park. The Gunners coped well with Blackburn's combative presence as Rovers for their part created chances but in the end their more clinical visitor's claimed all three points.
But Rovers hit back and levelled almost immediately with a slick move of their own as on loan striker Mame Biram Diouf tapped in from an El-Hadj Diouf pass.
The deciding strike arrived early in the second half when the ball fell kindly to Andrey Arshavin from a Cesc Fabregas shot. The Russian fired home from 12 yards.
Blackburn continued to press and had a couple of optimistic penalty appeals waved away, but equally Arsenal should have sealed the game on the break, Jack Wilshere in particular missing a last minute chance.
Nevertheless Arsenal held out for a hard fought win and a first away victory since March.
Blackburn scorers: Diouf 27 Arsenal scorers: Walcott 20, Arshavin 51
Referee: Chris Foy
Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn Attendance: 25,049
BLACKBURN 01 Robinson 04 Samba 05 Givet (yellow card) 06 Nelsen 27 Salgado 28 Jones 11 Grella (Dunn 56) 12 Pedersen 09 Kalinic (Olsson 65) 10 Diouf 41 Diouf (Nzonzi 81)
Substitutes 13 Bunn, 03 Olsson, 39 Chimbonda, 07 Emerton, 08 Dunn, 15 Nzonzi, 23 Hoilett
Arsenal 01 Almunia 03 Sagna 05 Vermaelen 06 Koscielny 22 Clichy 02 Diaby 04 Fabregas (Rosicky 68) 14 Walcott 17 A Song 23 Arshavin (Wilshere 83) 10 Van Persie (Chamakh 34)
Substitutes 21 Fabianski, 27 Eboue, 28 Gibbs, 07 Rosicky, 19 Wilshere, 11 Vela, 29 Chamakh