Full-time - 90'
7 - 1
13:00 +00:00, February 4, 2012
Emirates Stadium, England
Referee: Andre Marriner
Well, well, well. Eight goals in a rather emphatic win, albeit against 10-man Rovers. A hat-trick for Van Persie while a brace from the Ox, who was superb, helped fire the Gunners to a rampant and much-needed win, their first league triumph of 2012. Thanks for joining me. Be sure to join Chris Murphy for chat, goals and updates. I've been James Dall. Cheerio.
FULL-TIME: Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn.
Hanley stumbles on the ball in the centre. Henry scampers clear and passes to Van Persie, who squares it back. The Frenchman shoots, it gets a deflection, and bobbles in. Possibly an OG.
GOAL!!! Henry scores for Arsenal!
One last chance as Benayoun zips a volley into the chest of Robinson.
Cleared by Sagna. Three minutes of added time will be played.
Corner to Blackburn.
More red seats emerging as fans head home early. It is a right arse to get out of the Emirates, but stay until the end this time around, surely?
Rare attack from Blackburn but the ball fails to stick with Modeste.
Van Persie goes down in the box, but nothing doing from the ref. The correct call, I'd say.
Vermaelen is carded for a niggle on Modeste.
Kean is looking pensive on the touchline. Haters will be out in force post this match.
Henry hits a left-footed effort in a bid to catch out Robinson, but the ball skips out of play. Might have been an attempt at a pass actually.
Like a training match now. Attack v defence.
Arsenal probing. Blackburn have men behind the ball, protecting what is left of pride.
So close to seven as Henry threads in Rosicky, who wants to pull the trigger but under pressure Dann does enough to close the door.
Very minor tussle between Dann and Henry. Little in it, in truth.
Kean will likely get a bashing for this, but he hardly could have done anything about Givet's red card.
Robinson truly must dread facing Arsenal.
Henry surges forward and beats one, but he cannot beat another and the move breaks down. Groans from the home fans.
Modeste has offered very little in the solo role. A tough job but he has not even attempted to be a menace.
Van Persie sends in a cross but Hanley heads away impressively.
Great cross in from Sagna is hooked away by Hanley. Arsenal are pushing for seven, which would spark clichéd headlines about heaven.
No Park, then, as Benayoun comes on for Song.
Where's Park? Perfect game for him, you would think.
Sagna is playing at left-back with Vermaelen in his more natural place of centre-back.
Henry is of course after his first league goal since returning to the club on loan.
Sagna and Henry replace the brilliant Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Koscielny.
Changes are imminent...
The Ox is having an outstanding game.
A corner finds Walcott at the back post and the England man tries a dipping volley. But it doesn't dip enough.
Still no subs from Wenger, which is odd.
Fans cheering every pass now. So much for the alleged bin bags.
Hoillett looks set to race through but Koscielny bursts off the turf to mop up.
Awful, awful marking from Blackburn. Coquelin easily picks out the Dutchman with a low cross, and RVP bangs in with his right foot.
GOAL!!! Van Persie hat-trick!
Vermaelen looks on, by the way.
Terrific work from the Ox, who makes a mockery of his markers before dinking one to the back post. Arteta smashes in a first-time volley, but the ball zooms over.
Blackburn haven't given up. But, wait, Arsenal spring clear...
Pedersen has a chance to net another free-kick, but this time he only finds the wall.
Vermaelen is limping. Worry around the Emirates.
There are more goals in this game, surely. Van Persie will surely come off shortly, with Park of Henry likely candidates to replace him.
It's 5-1. A mauling. Walcott worms his way in from the right. He is surrounded by Blackburn players but sees the Ox lurking at the back stick. A short pass is played and the youngster buries coolly.
GOAL!!! The Ox scores another!
The Blackburn fans look, understandably, utterly miserable.
Stat: Paul Robinson has now conceded 57 goals against Arsenal in the Premier League.
A corner is poorly cleared by Blackburn and Koscielny's toe is enough to get the ball to Arteta, who lashes low first time and fires past Robinson.
GOAL!!! Arteta scores for Arsenal!
Nearly an own goal as Hanley stretches following a whipped cross from Walcott. The ball is deflected out for a corner.
Henry is warming-up. The home fans are singing his name.
Decent football from Blackburn, there. They popped it round nicely before a shot from the right was weak and the keeper got his body behind it. Encouraging for the ten-man visitors though.
Coquelin sends in a delicious cross on the right. No-one there though to attack it.
No changes for either side.
Second half: Arsenal get the second period started.
The second half is about to get under way. Another four goals would be most welcome.
What a peculiar half. Arsenal dominated throughout, and went in front as early as the second minute via the Walcott-Van Persie combo, the latter scoring. But, out of nowhere, Pedersen fired in a glorious free-kick. Then, Arsenal rallied, with Van Persie scoring a second, thanks to another assist from Walcott. The Ox soon got in on the act, latching onto a delicious pass from RVP, to score his first league goal for the Gunners. Oh, and Givet got sent off. Mountain to climb for Kean and his men.
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 3-1 Blackburn.
Walcott continues to struggle when he has a decision to make. When there is one option, and he has to deliver instantaneously, he impresses. But other than that, there are issues.
Ah, almost four. Vermaelen strikes it after arriving at the back post. He hammers at goal, but the ball hammers back off the post and out.
Wenger must surely be weighing up whether to rest Van Persie in the second half.
Five minutes of added time will be played.
Dunn is replaced by Hanley.
Van Persie was in pain. He is back on though. The fans cheer.
The Frenchman is sent off after a two-footed challenge on Van Persie. It was a scissors motion from the defender. Had to go.
Red card for Givet!
Arsenal smell a fourth, but Blackburn do look capable of springing clear and netting a second.
A first league goal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Van Persie plays a very cute through ball which the youngster gets a toe to. He rounds Robinson before tapping in.
GOAL!!! The Ox makes it 3-1 to Arsenal!
That's a lovely goal. Arsenal work it out from the back and in a flash they are attacking Robinson's goal. Song threads in Walcott down the right, who squares for RVP. The Dutchman lashes in from close range. 2-1.
GOAL!!! Van Persie scores for Arsenal!
Confirmation of the sub now, with Orr on for Lowe.
Very iffy goalkeeping from Szczęsny as he looks to claim a high free-kick, but the flag is up for offside.
A sub is announced over the speaker system, but it has been delayed as Lowe looks to run it off.
Seen a replay of the Rosicky challenge. Lowe got to the ball first and the Czech's momentum carried him through onto his ankle. Looks a bad injury, although he has now just got to his feet and is being helped to the touchline. Probably should have been a yellow.
Lowe is receiving treatment, with the stretcher out, following a foul from Rosicky. No card brandished.
1-1, then. And you just felt it when Blackburn won that free-kick. Pedersen trotted up and executed a wicked free-kick that Szczęsny got a hand to but could not prevent from dropping into the top corner. Like a rocket it was.
GOAL!!! Pedersen scores for Blackburn!
Free-kick to Blackburn in a dangerous position...
Van Persie wriggles on the edge of the box and tries a right-footed effort, which he gets a little wrong and the shot drops a few feet wide.
Quite a few empty seats at the Emirates today.
Arsenal work their way down the left and win another corner. The ball is whipped in but Blackburn keep things tight to ensure the attack fizzles out.
Koscielny reads the game well as Blackburn probe forward.
Robin van Persie celebrates with Theo Walcott after opening the scoring
Nzonzi is in the book for a late challenge on Rosicky, who is in some discomfort.
Very nearly 2-0. Mertesacker nods the corner back across and there is a stretch from Koscielny. The ball ends up on top of the roof of the net.
ANOTHER corner to Arsenal. Pressure mounting as they push for a second.
The corner is only half-cleared and Rosicky tries his luck from 20 yards out. The swerving shot has Robinson scrambling but it zips past the post.
Corner to Arsenal after tricky work from the Ox on the right.
Blackburn finally enjoy some possession. But they are forced back to Robinson.
Arsenal have the ball back though.
Walcott's cross is deflected to Rosicky, whose scissor kick hits a defender. Arteta follows up the rebound but drags it well wide. Ultimately, it was poor decision making from Walcott.
Blackburn are struggling to get near the ball at the moment, without fouling that is.
Excellent tracking by Arteta is greeted with applause. Real chance for Arsenal to make a statement of intent here following the early goal.
A ball is clipped over the Blackburn defence and Walcott looks to nip in, but Givet is across to cover and clear.
It's a little flat but Mertesacker almost gets a head to it. Goal kick.
Free-kick to Arsenal in an interesting area after Song was felled by Nzonzi. RVP to curl a cross in...
Both players are up and on their feet. Should be ok.
Modeste is booked for the challenge. Seems harsh, as it was just his momentum which took him into the goalkeeper.
Pedersen ships a ball into the path of Modeste, and the forward throws a boot at it before the ball bounces back off Szczesny. Modeste seems to have hurt both the goalkeeper and himself.
Van Persie drives the corner into the centre but it's headed clear.
Walcott now wins a corner. Arsenal have had 80% possession so far.
Walcott's cross is deflected out of play for a throw in, while Olsson looks to have taken a small knock.
A neat piece of play sees Arsenal work Oxlade-Chamberlain into some space on the left of the area. He drives the ball across the face of goal but there's nowhere there to divert home.
Arteta goes down under a challenge from Modeste in the Blackburn half.
Van Persie receives the ball in the area, but as he chests down the ball is snatched away.
The Ox is looking lively as another attempted throughball is cut out.
Pederson gets away down the right and floats in a decent cross, but it's headed clear and Arsenal counter-attack. Oxlade-Cahmberlain makes the space, but he pulls his shot well wide of the goal.
Van Persie receives the ball in plenty of space down the right flank, but he knocks it back for Coquelin and the cross is cleared.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then threatens to cause problems down the left flank, but this time Blackburn get it away. Great start for Arsenal, but Blackburn are in a state here.
Robin van Persie is left with the simplest of finishes as Coquelin slips the ball through to Walcott after a poor clearance, and the England winger squares to leave the Dutchman an open goal.
GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
The Arsenal fans are in good voice despite the frustrations of late.
KICK OFF Modeste gets the game underway.
Blackburn, of course, beat Arsenal 4-3 at Ewood Park.
Both sides are in desperate need of a win, with Arsenal in danger of losing touch with the top four and Blackburn in danger of losing their Premier League status.
Blackburn: Robinson, Lowe, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Dunn, Modeste. Subs: Bunn, Formica, Orr, Rochina, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Hanle.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Arshavin, Benayoun, Ramsey, Park, Henry.
Be sure to check out our preview of this encounter, written by Mark Lomas.
ESPNsoccernet's James Dall will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of Arsenal against Blackburn, which kicks off at 13.00 GMT.
Robin Van Persie
Morten Gamst Pedersen