Blackburn Rovers 2 Arsenal 1

Last updated : 03 May 2010 By Footymad Previewer
Blackburn Rovers rounded off their home season in super style with a deserved 2-1 victory against long-time title contenders Arsenal.

Sam Allardyce's men came from behind to clinch maximum points with goals from Chris Samba and David Dunn as they avenged a heavy defeat at the Emirates Stadium in October.

In the week of the race for number ten Downing Street, it was Rovers' tenth home win of the season and took them into tenth place in the Premier League table.

For leading scorer Dunn, his goal just before half-time which cancelled out the Gunners' 14th-minute strike from Robin van Persie, was his tenth of the season.

The result maintained Rovers' unbeaten home record against the so-called 'top four', as they had previously drawn at Ewood Park against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Samba returned to the Rovers side after injury and was preferred as captain to fellow defender Ryan Nelsen. Teenager Phil Jones, who turned in man-of-the-match shows against Chelsea and Manchester United, had to be content with a place on the bench.

Arsenal, 6-2 winners against Blackburn at the Emirates earlier in the season, named Russian danger-man Andrey Arshavin among their substitutes after his recovery from injury.

The Gunners had the first chance of the game on three minutes when Rovers keeper Paul Robinson found himself stranded as Theo Walcott showed a typical burst of pace to race onto a throughball from midfield. But as Walcott laid the ball back, Carlos Vela shot wide of the empty net.

Three minutes later, Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski got down well to keep out a free-kick from Morten Gamst Pedersen awarded for a foul on Dunn by Abou Diaby 25 yards out.

Arsenal took the lead on 14 minutes when a free-kick from the left by Samir Nasri was headed on at the near post by Bacary Sagna and van Persie continued his fine run of scoring form against Rovers by heading in from point-blank range at the far post.

Just before the half-hour mark, van Persie had a free-kick from 20 yards out parried by Robinson and Michel Salgado put it behind for a corner.

At the other end, a free-kick from the right by Pedersen was smartly tipped over by Fabianski.

On 36 minutes, Rovers' Jason Roberts made a good run into the box and laid the ball back but both Keith Andrews and Dunn miskicked and an effort from Pedersen, following up, was blocked.

Two minutes before the break, Rovers were level through Dunn. Sol Campbell needlessly conceded a corner and Pedersen's from the left was touched on by Samba to Nelsen, who passed to Andrews on the right-hand edge of the six-yard box.

His cross fell at the far post to Dunn, who made no mistake from close range.

Ten minutes into the second half, Rovers had claims for a penalty waved aside after Pedersen was put through in the box by Dunn. The Norwegian's shot was saved by Fabianski and, as he chased the rebound, he was challenged by Campbell but the referee gave a corner.

Rovers were dominating and on 68 minutes took the lead, again from a Pedersen corner, this time awarded after Mikael Silvestre put the ball narrowly wide of his own goal.

Pedersen floated his kick in just under the bar and Samba headed home from point-blank range.