Report: Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn
Arsenal responded to their recent turbulence – which saw them without a win in four games – with one of the most emphatic displays at the Emirates stadium.
It was all smiles for the Gunners for once in a so far torrid 2012 which had seen them rediscover one of the club’s worst forms in their history.
But another tremendous show from Van Persie – who netted a hat-trick – and the vastly progressing Oxlade-Chamberlain paved the way for a commanding victory over Blackburn.
Van Persie took only two minutes after kick-off to find the net – tapping home from a Walcott low cross – as the hosts made a flying start.
But Blackburn managed to pull level half an hour later as Pedersen powered a free-kick past Szczesny.
Arsenal then responded in impressive fashion as another Van Persie strike – almost a mirror image of his early goal – restored Arsenal’s lead.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then scored his first ever goal in the Premier League to make it 3-1 before Gael Givet was sent off for the visitors on the stroke of half-time.
With the advantage in numbers, Wenger’s men were in rampant mood after the break and an Arteta strike just outside the box initiated a streak of three goals in just ten minutes as Oxlade-Chamberlain scored to seal his brace before Van Persie completed his hat-trick.
Arsenal’s promising English youngster was soon withdrawn for Thierry Henry with over 27 minutes left while Bacary Sagna was introduced at the expense of Laurent Koscielny.
Two big subtitutions those were. One was the legendary striker’s first Premier League appearance at the Emirates stadium since 2007 while the other was the home return in the Premier League for Sagna who had been missed for several months.
And one of the substitutes was always going to take a share of the headlines. Within the last minute of injury time, Thierry Henry stole the ball from Rovers’ last man at the back, made a fluid move with Van Persie and then guided home a slighltly deflected shot to register another famous moment in his Arsenal career – his first Premier League goal since a late equaliser at Middlesborough in 2007.
That strike was the last meaningful kick of the game which ended 7-1 in favour of Arsenal.