PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsenal do like to be beside the seaside
Arsenal kept up the pressure on leaders Manchester United with a productive trip to the seaside and a 3-1 win over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The Gunners are now seven points behind the leaders and also have a game in hand and the three points gained from the Seasiders will be a relief to boss Arsene Wenger as Arsenal had previously gone five games in all competitions without a win.
Two goals in four minutes midway through the first half set the visitor's on their way to a 14 game unbeaten run in the Premiership.
On 18 minutes Abou Diaby started the move inside his own half before getting on the end of Robin van Persie's cross to score unmarked from six yards.
The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute as a one-two between Emmanuel Eboue and Samir Nasri ends with the former running into the penalty area and slotting home.
Blackpool had started off brightly but at this stage looked to be heading for a repeat of the 6-0 thrashing at the Emirates earlier in the season.
But just after the interval they got themselves back into the game through Gary Taylor Fletcher who, with Jens Lehman stranded, took full advantage of the loose ball.
The home side continued to press for an equaliser as they battle against the drop but van Persie ensured there was no nervy ending for the visitor's by ending a sweeping Arsenal move with a simple tap-in from Theo Walcott's cross.
Blackpool have now lost 11 of their 15 Premiership games since the turn of the year and now lie just one point above the drop zone.
Referee: Lee Mason
Venue: Bloomfield Road Attendance: 16,030
BLACKPOOL 28 Kingson 03 Crainey (yellow card) 06 Evatt 15 Baptiste 20 Cathcart 04 Southern (yellow card) (Phillips 82) 26 Adam 42 Puncheon (Kornilenko 87) 12 Taylor-Fletcher 16 Varney (Reid 60) 39 Campbell
Substitutes 01 Rachubka, 05 Eardley, 23 Phillips, 43 Reid, 10 Ormerod, 41 Kornilenko, 44 Beattie
ARSENAL 13 Lehmann 06 Koscielny 18 Squillaci 22 Clichy 27 Eboue 02 Diaby (yellow card) 04 Fabregas (Ramsey 88) 08 Nasri (Gibbs 86) 19 Wilshere (yellow card) 23 Arshavin (Walcott 61) 10 Van Persie
Substitutes 01 Almunia, 28 Gibbs, 07 Rosicky, 14 Walcott, 16 Ramsey, 29 Chamakh, 52 Bendtner