Saturday, 21 August 2010

Arsenal v Blackpool: The Big Match report

Arsenal 6 - Blackpool 0
At Ashburton Grove

Arsenal XI: Almunia (C), Sagna, Song, Vermaelen, Clichy, Rosicky, Diaby [Fabregas - 63], Wilshere, Walcott [Vela - 66], Chamakh, Arshavin [van Persie - 63]

Goals: Walcott (12), (40), (58), Arshavin (32 pen), Diaby (49), Chamakh (83)

A stunning Theo Walcott hattrick brought back memories of Thiery Henry as Ashburton Grove welcomed back some of Highbury's old features.

Minutes before kick off, the new clock was unveiled and brought into action for the first time. There was a great video montage of famous moments and a count down prior to the clock starting.

Elvis and his Arsenal music video was played prior to the centre piece of the clock kicking into action and then prior to the teams entering into the field, Fatboy Slim's Right Here, Right Now reverberated around the Grove as the team entered the field of play.

It was reminiscent of being back at Highbury.

There was an electric atmosphere, piratically because of it being the first home game of the season, but mostly because of the entertainment prior to kick off.

Now all we needed was a game of football which matched the pre-match entertainment and boy did we get it.

England's forgotten man Theo Walcott was the star of the show, scoring his first Arsenal hattrick to bring the Grove to its feet.

The 6-0 scoreline should not be underestimated. Blackpool provided a real threat with their forward play in the game. They perhaps should have been ahead prior to Walcott's first strike.

Walcott put us ahead in the 11th minute and from then we never looked back.

A second was added from the penalty spot by Andrey Arshavin, after a foul by Ian Evatt on Marouane Chamakh. From looking at replays of the incident, it looked as though the challenge was outside the box.

In any case, the scoreline was doubled by the Russian. It was a shame the seasiders were reduced to ten men as up until the sending off the contest had proved to be quite equal. Blackpool had played some neat football and probably deserved more for their industry.

A third Arsenal goal was added by Walcott just prior to the half time break and then after the restart the momentum continued as Abou Diaby added a fourth following a Walcott cross.

Walcott got his hattrick and claims to the match ball in the 58th minute with a well taken finish.

Arsene Wenger then added Arsenal's two World Cup finalists, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas for Andrey Arshavin and Abou Diaby.

The array of attacking talent Arsenal had on the field was overwhelming for Blackpool.

Our front six consistend of Tomas Rosicy, Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere, Maurone Chamakh, Robin van Persie and Carlos Vela.

Chamakh headed home a sixth goal in the 83rd minute from a van Persie corner.

For me the stand out players today were Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Maurone Chamakh..

Walcott caused no end of problems for the Blackpool defence and it showed that his extra training sessions practicing free kicks and crosses were worth it. It seems that he has turned into a different player following his World Cup exclusion.

Rosicky was back to his best. He is the oil which makes Arsenal's engine run and the Czech international is now fulfilling his potential as Robert Pires replacement in Arsenal's ranks.

Chamakh offers everything to this time which Emmanuel Adebayor did and more. He runs his heart out across the opposition defence and his ability to head the ball  offers us an extra option in our forward line.

I was glad in the way which Blackpool approached the game. They tired to play football, with passes along the ground and no nasty tactics. Ian Holloway can be proud of his side.

I think their finishing let  them down. I really believe they deserved a goal. And their supporters really were their 12th man. They were fantastic.

Arsenal were meant to win this one  and I'm glad they did. It's now for us to push on and win the next match against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park next weekend.

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