We looked dangerous, Diaby was unlucky with a cracking volley from a tidy short corner, Walcott almost in but just offside. Having said that Blackburn did come close, Cesc cleared off the line from Nelson, Samba headed just over. The goal was very neatly worked, Arshavin fed RVP who slotted in perfectly for the onrushing Theo, a sumptuous finish into the bottom corner made it one nil. The Blackburn equaliser came at a poor time, we looked the stronger and on the verge of a second, some good play from Samba fed El Hadj Diouf down the left wing, Koscielny misjudged things and got caught in two minds, his slightly limp barge wasn't enough, Diouf raced away and squared to his namesake who slotted home. Sagna did appear to be sucked away from his position and towards the ball, explaining why Koscielny was defending in the right back slot.
Pedersen cheated as he loves to, firstly he took one in the midriff while trying to foul one of our players, the referee then pulled things back incorrectly as we broke dangerously, Song was then incorrectly penalised for a clean ball winning challenge on the theatrical Pedersen. RVP twisted his ankle going in for a tackle that he should really have avoided, it will be a couple of weeks or maybe more, ankles are a tad unpredictable. Chamakh replaced the unfortunate Dutchman just after the half hour mark. Blackburn were energised by the equaliser, the game had swung again, we struggled to keep hold of possession but we still carried a threat going forwards, Theo in particular was lively and dangerous.
We started the second half well, winning more loose balls in the midfield and pressing a bit better. The goal didn't take long to come, excellent work from Sagna who squared to Cesc, his shot ricocheted to Arshavin who made things look easy, two one it was and two one it stayed til the end. On the hour Diaby showed some brilliance to release Arshavin, the angle was tough and the ball was blazed over. Then Cesc missed a great chance to release Theo but underhit the pass. Arshavin and Walcott were giving us such great movement and options, Chamakh was also making some good runs.
The slightly rust Cesc was replaced by Tomas Rosicky with twenty to go. Bacary Sagna nipped in well to make a vital interception as the less c*nty Diouf burst through on goal. Walcott hit a rasper just over after a decent one two with Chamakh and then was very unlucky to have a marginally offside goal chalked off. Jack Wilshere replaced the excellent Arshavin with about ten to go. Blackburn huffed, puffed, threw long and punted, but so rarely threatened, a rare shot was blocked by Song in front of Almunia. Near the end they did try a couple of truly comical dives in the penalty box that even the most blinkered of Blackburn fans would have admitted were not the greatest shouts.
The win was thoroughly deserved despite what the bloated Allardyce may have said. There were several encouraging things to take from the game. Obviously Theo's form has been terrific, Andrei Arshavin is definitely finding the groove as well, I also thought that Alex Song and Abou Diaby were an excellent shield for the back four, something we have not had enough of in recent years. On the whole the defence did very well, Blackburn created very little, especially when trailing in the second half. Manuel Almunia was solid and showed what a decent keeper he is, Vermaelen and Koscielny were nicely aggressive and the full backs did well too. It's a good three points to get given Blackburn's home form and an very encouraging result.
Briefly I have to mention a couple of absolutely hilarious things that have been in the news this weekend. Stoke's manager Tony Pulis has written to Arsenal to complain about Arsene's recent comments concerning Stoke's blatant fouling of the opposition goalkeeper. All Arsene said was:
'You cannot say it is football any more. It is more rugby on the goalkeepers than football.....When you see the way Shawcross kicked Heurelho Gomes, how Robert Huth pushed Gomes in the goal, you cannot say that is football anymore.'
Arsene is quite right. Stoke's football is terrible to watch, it is also terrible for the English game, it also includes some rather blatantly overly physical play that is against the rules of the game. Tony Pulis should grow up and start behaving like a man. He should also watch the match video which shows these clear fouls on the opposition goalkeeper, his complaints to Arsenal will inevitably fall on deaf ears, he has no argument, he has no point, he is an embarrassment to even himself. The only fault with Arsene comparing it to rugby is that rugby is meant to be played by gentlemen, Stoke's 'football' is played by a bunch of violent knuckle dragging Neanderthals.
Finally to this brilliant piece of video footage showing 'Arry Redknapp up for who he is, a foul mouthed and extremely bitter individual. His famed sense of humour has gone missing, I think someone dust protest too much: