Arsenal 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

Andrey Arshavin grabbed the winner for Arsenal as they showed the steel needed to overcome a committed Blackburn. Theo Walcott gave the Gunners the lead at Ewood Park, powering an angled shot past Paul Robinson after a slick move. But Mame Biram Diouf tapped in from an El-Hadji Diouf pass as Rovers impressively equalised. Arshavin threaded in the winner after a Cesc Fabregas effort was deflected into his path and the north Londoners held on to complete a hard-fought win.

After weathering the Rovers onslaught and earning the right to play, Wenger will be encouraged by the character his team showed to come out on top and enhance their title credentials. Robin van Persie became Arsenal’s first casualty as he was forced off with an ankle injury. Bu tAlmunia played the ball out and, six passes later, Walcott ran on to Van Persie’s measured ball and took a touch before sending in a shot at the far post.

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