After the international break, and a week of speculation that Ince would be heading of to Newcastle, it was back to premier leauge action, with Arsenal visiting Blackburn at Ewood Park. Blackburn were missing Vince Grella, Zurab Kishinishvilli and Aaron Mokoena, who all picked up knocks in the mid week fixtures. Keith Andrews made his starting debut, as did Manchester United Loanee, Danny Simpson. For Arsenal, Samir Nasri was out, giving a place to English hero, Theo Walcott.
The match started of with a few niggly fouls, but Arsenal stamped there mark on the game in the 8th minute. A dazzling run by Theo Walcott on the left flank was followed by a delightful ball through to Robin Van Persie, who slotted the ball into the Rovers net, 1-0
Rovers lifted there game.A delightful interchange between Steven Reid and Brett Emerton, who provided a perfect cross for Roque Santa Cruz, however his header went over the bar. Blackburn then started to resort to Route 1 football, Robinson playing long ball after long ball to Jason Roberts, who 9 times out of 10, took control.Roberts laid of a pass to Emerton, however he shot was easily saved by Reina.
Another dart down the right flank by Emerton almost created a Rovers goal. The ball was cut into the box, laid of to the 18 yard line, with Roque blasting a shot, infortunately straight at the head of an Arsenal defender.
Morten Gamst Pederson had a fine opportunity to provide Blakburn an equaliser through his trademark free kick. But it was no where to be seen as he curled it wide of the Near Post.Blackburns best chance of the half came through a slick interchange on the right wing. Keith Andrews played it to Roberts, who knocked it outwide to Brett Emerton. Emo then played a dangerous ball across goals, with Andrews missing it by centimeters. With all the chances, Rovers were unlucky to not be on equal terms heading into the break, but Arsenal had other plans. Sloppy defending from Ryan Nelsen and Steven Warnock left Adebayor free at the far post, who easily headed in a fantastic cross. 2-0 Arsenal Half TIme.
It was Arsenal who came out strongest in the second half, with Van Persie and Walcott testing Robinson early on, who, to his credit, pulled of a string of fine saves. Blackburn plugged away with their route 1 methods, with Brett Emerton and Steven Warnock been the main sparks in attack. Benni McCarthy came on for Jason Roberts, whilst Gamst Pedersen made way for Keith Treacy. This was soon followed by Danny Simpson making way for Matt Derbyshire.
With Rovers trying to play catch up football, Rovers felt disgusted when Warnock was judged to have taken down Eboue in the box, who i feel went down a tad too easy…Adebayor scored, 3-0 Arsenal. It didnt end there for Rovers Fans, with Adebayor sealing his hattrick late in the game with a neat finish
Paul Robinson 6.5
Conceded 4, but couldnt really be blamed for any of them. Made a few fine saves
Ryan Nelsen 5
Not one of his best games, poor marking, sloppy clearances, no organisation
Chris Samba 5.5
Same as above, did make a few interventions though
Steven Warnock 5 in defence 7 in attack
I think Steven forgot how to defend today. His attack was fantastic, overlapping with Gamst Pedersen, getting stuck into it. But his defence was appaling, sloppy marking and no composure
Danny Simpson 6.5
Made quite a few important tackles, definately preventing a goal, good start by the young man
Keith Andrew 6
Id say a poor mans version of David Dunn. Playes similar sort of football, but Dunny has a bit more technical ability. Did well, but nothing too flashy
Steven Reid 6
Quiet game from Reid, strung a few neat passes, but we really need our CMs to start dominating
A few decent crosses, a few dodgy crosses and a poor free kick, tracked back well in defence though
Brettt Emerton 7.5
Was Blackburns main threat in attack, really looking well in that right wing role
Jason Roberts 7
Toiled away. Holding up the ball, passing, could of had a shot or two. Didnt deserve to be taken of
Roque Santa Cruz 5.5
I think mid week international took its toll on Roque. Much quieter game, couldnt direct his headers, should of been taken of instead of Roberts
Sasmans Get Stuck into it or Else Award
Blackburn Rovers Defence
2 games in a row, conceded 4 goals, really poor. Really need to muscle up, especially in the centre. Marking was poor, clearances poor, positioning poor, everything poor. Turn it around boys
Sasmans Award for Outstanding Effort
MOM was Brett Emerton but this is going to Danny Simpson. Really did impress at right back, making a few solid interventions. Was caught out at times, but he will get better.
Well done lad
Blackburn v FUlham