Blackburn Rovers 1 Arsenal 1

Last updated : 19 August 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal played out a bad-tempered 1-1 draw after two goalkeeping errors at Ewood Park.

Robin van Persie opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half following a mistake from Brad Friedel.

But Jens Lehmann ensured a share of the spoils after spilling David Dunn's long-range strike into his own net to hand the Blackburn-born midfielder with his first Rovers goal since his return to the club.

Referee Alan Wiley, who waved away two appeals for a penalty from the home side, booked four players on each side, as well as sending off Rovers' skipper Ryan Nelsen late in the game.

Following a comfortable 1-0 win in the UEFA Cup on Thursday night, Rovers started the game in confident mood, as Arsenal old boy David Bentley tried his luck from long range with a shot that just fizzed over the bar on three minutes.

But the visitors, who won away to Sparta Prague in midweek, opened the scoring with their first real attack of the game. On 18 minutes, Premier League debutant Eduardo's close-range header was spilled by the usually reliable Friedel, Dunn could only half clear and van Persie drilled the ball home.

Rovers responded well, with Nelsen heading Christopher Samba's centre against the foot of the post, before the recalled Theo Walcott capitalised on a mix-up between Nelsen and Stephen Warnock, only for the England Under-21 international to over-hit his attempted pass to van Persie when he had a clear run on goal.

After weathering a sustained spell of pressure just before the break, Rovers again began strongly at the start of the second half. On 50 minutes, Robbie Savage's surging run was cut short right on the edge of the Arsenal box, but Wiley waved play on.

Dunn, Roque Santa Cruz and Matt Derbyshire all went close for Rovers moments later, before the home side threatened again.

On 62 minutes, Morten Gamst Pedersen's inswinging corner was flicked on by Santa Cruz to Samba, whose effort was stopped by Cesc Fabregas' arm on the line, but a free-kick was given against Santa Cruz at the near post.

Ten minutes later and Rovers' dominance eventually paid off. After picking the ball up in the middle of the park, Dunn played a neat one-two with Santa Cruz before unleashing a fierce left-foot drive which Lehmann spilled into his own net.

Temperatures often boiled over, as van Persie was lucky to stay on the pitch for a rash challenge on Nelsen, before the Rovers captain picked up his second yellow card of the game for a foul on the same player.