Blackburn 4 - 3 Arsenal
Blackburn Rovers eased the pressure on manager Steve Kean as they came from behind to beat Arsenal in a thrilling match at Ewood Park.
Rovers' first win of the campaign lifted them off the bottom of the table to earn Kean, who was the target of a modest pre-match protest, some much-needed breathing space while counterpart Arsene Wenger has seen his side lose three times already.
It was an end-to-end encounter in which defending appeared to be a lost art for long periods.
Arsenal were twice in front but two own goals and a determined Blackburn comeback sealed victory for the home side.
• Arsenal suffered their 100th away defeat in Premier League history
• Arsenal did not have a single Englishman in their starting line up - the first PL club this season to start with a team of 11 foreigners.
The Gunners took the early initiative though, when Gervinho fired past Paul Robinson from 12 yards but Blackburn equalised through debutant Yakubu's deft finish.
Arsenal's Mikel Arteta scored from just inside the box after Aaron Ramsey's intelligent cutback before Alex Song put the ball into his own net from Ruben Rochina's free-kick.
Yakubu tapped in Steven Nzonzi's shot across goal for 3-2, then Laurent Koscielny bundled past his own keeper after Martin Olsson's fine run and cross.
Marouane Chamakh's late headed consolation completed the scoring but Arsenal had late chances to rescue a point and had a last-gasp appeal for a penalty turned down.
The Rovers manager maintained throughout the week that he was the right man to turn around the club's fortunes, and this result will go some way to convincing the sceptics that he is up to the job.
His side were seemingly beaten at the break, being comprehensively outplayed and lucky to be only 2-1 down.
Woeful Blackburn defending allowed Song to find the totally unmarked Gervinho, whose decent low strike took a slight deflection on its way past Robinson in the home goal.
“This was topsy-turvy and terrifically entertaining”
But Rovers were posing their usual threat from set pieces, with Chris Samba twice heading wide when he should have hit the target while at the other end Robinson was keeping them in the game with saves from Andrey Arshavin and Gervinho.
Just as Arsenal seemed on the verge of adding to their lead, Blackburn grabbed a lifeline with debutant Yakubu scoring his first goal for the club with a deft finish past the on-rushing Wojciech Szczesny following a fine pass from David Hoilett.
Crucially though, Blackburn could not hold on until half-time. Arteta restored the visitors' lead, smashing the ball into the net from the edge of the box for his first Arsenal goal after Ramsey's pass.
Kean's men showed great spirit after the restart and totally outmuscled a fragile Arsenal unit in the second half.
They were back in the game soon after the break in admittedly fortuitous circumstances after Song turned Rochina's free-kick into his own net.
The goal proved to be the catalyst they needed to mount a stunning comeback.
Moments later Rovers should have taken the lead with Rochina firing straight at Szczesny when one-on-one following Hoilett's superb pass.
But Blackburn's amazing turnaround was not to be denied. The marginally onside Yakubu tapped in from close range following Nzonzi's wayward shot across goal.
Their 3-2 lead soon became 4-2 when Arsenal put the ball into their own net for the second time. Koscielny turned Olsson's cross past Szczesny following a fine run from his own half by the Blackburn man.
Moments later, though, Blackburn were thankful to Robinson after he pulled off a superb reaction save from Robin van Persie's powerful header.
Any hopes the home fans might have had of a relaxing few minutes were dashed when Arsenal pulled one back through Chamakh who headed van Persie's cross past Robinson from close range.
The goal breathed life into Arsenal's challenge and in stoppage time they should have been level but Per Mertesacker inexplicably headed over.
The drama continued, with substitute Theo Walcott going down under Robinson's challenge. Despite the howls of protest coming from the visiting fans, referee Andre Mariner waved away appeals for a penalty.
Rovers survived Arsenal's late flurry and a rumoured post-match protest from some of Blackburn's fans never materialised.
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +4:03
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Jason Lowe makes a clearance.90:00 +3:00
Corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta from the left by-line, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance. Close range headed effort by Marouane Chamakh goes wide of the left-hand post.90:00 +2:41
Clarindo Andre Santos takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.90:00 +2:25
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.90:00 +1:16
Laurent Koscielny fouled by Simon Vukcevic, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Laurent Koscielny. Per Mertesacker has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.88:25
Unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu by Johan Djourou results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.86:42
Centre by Theo Walcott.84:11
Robin van Persie provided the assist for the goal.84:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Marouane Chamakh - Blackburn 4 - 3 Arsenal Marouane Chamakh grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Blackburn 4-3 Arsenal.84:02
The ball is swung over by Robin van Persie,83:00
Centre by Johan Djourou.81:33
Effort on goal by Clarindo Andre Santos from just inside the area clears the bar.80:58
Corner taken by Mikel Arteta, Robin van Persie takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.80:40
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba.80:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yao Gervinho by Gael Givet. Mikel Arteta restarts play with the free kick.79:49
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by David Hoilett. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the direct free kick.79:30
Simon Vukcevic takes a shot. Clarindo Andre Santos gets a block in.77:32
Aaron Ramsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.77:06
Steven Nzonzi takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.
Yao Gervinho crosses the ball, save by Paul Robinson.76:23
Radosav Petrovic challenges Mikel Arteta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.74:42
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mikel Arteta. Unfair challenge on Gael Givet by Marouane Chamakh results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.74:42 Substitution
Substitution Marouane Chamakh comes on in place of Alex Song.74:42
The ball is sent over by Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.74:08
Robin van Persie takes a inswinging corner.74:02
Theo Walcott sends in a cross, Scott Dann gets a block in.73:41 Booking
Booking Martin Olsson goes into the book.72:12
Theo Walcott delivers the ball.71:59
The ball is swung over by Clarindo Andre Santos, clearance by Steven Nzonzi.70:57
Clarindo Andre Santos crosses the ball, Paul Robinson makes a save.69:58
The ball is sent over by Yao Gervinho, clearance made by Scott Dann.68:00
The assist for the goal came from Martin Olsson.68:00 Goal scored
Goal! - Laurent Koscielny - Blackburn 4 - 2 Arsenal Own goal by Laurent Koscielny. Blackburn 4-2 Arsenal.67:30
Corner from the left by-line taken by Mikel Arteta, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.67:13
Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Blocked by Radosav Petrovic.66:25
Free kick crossed left-footed by Robin van Persie, Gael Givet makes a clearance.66:25 Booking
Booking Scott Dann goes into the book.66:12
Unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Scott Dann results in a free kick.65:35
The assistant referee signals for offside against Johan Djourou. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.65:13
The ball is delivered by Johan Djourou, clearance made by Christopher Samba.64:15 Substitution
Substitution Simon Vukcevic comes on in place of Mauro Formica.63:50 Substitution
Substitution Theo Walcott joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andrey Arshavin.63:10
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Mauro Formica. Andrey Arshavin takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Robin van Persie has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.58:31
Assist by Steven Nzonzi.58:31 Goal scored
Goal! - Ayegbeni Yakubu - Blackburn 3 - 2 Arsenal Goal scored by Ayegbeni Yakubu from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 3-2 Arsenal.57:59
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Hoilett, Steven Nzonzi takes a shot.57:54
Martin Olsson sends in a cross, Johan Djourou gets a block in.56:16
Free kick crossed right-footed by David Hoilett from left wing, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.56:16 Booking
Booking Johan Djourou receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.56:09
Johan Djourou challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick.55:15 Substitution
Substitution Martin Olsson replaces Ruben Rochina.55:05
Yao Gervinho produces a cross, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.54:10
Yao Gervinho crosses the ball, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.53:39
Jason Lowe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrey Arshavin. Mikel Arteta restarts play with the free kick.53:31
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Hoilett on Johan Djourou. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.53:02
Mauro Formica takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.52:22 Substitution
Substitution Johan Djourou joins the action as a substitute, replacing Bacary Sagna.51:30
Corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta, Alex Song has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the target.51:22
Effort on goal by Andrey Arshavin from 20 yards. Steven Nzonzi gets a block in.49:33
Ruben Rochina provided the assist for the goal.49:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Alex Song - Blackburn 2 - 2 Arsenal Own goal by Alex Song. Blackburn 2-2 Arsenal.48:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrey Arshavin on Jason Lowe. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Ruben Rochina from right by-line.48:20
David Hoilett crosses the ball.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +2:04 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:28
Yao Gervinho is adjudged to have handled the ball. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Robinson.43:36
Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, save by Paul Robinson.43:15
Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.42:04
Aaron Ramsey delivers the ball, clearance by Jason Lowe.40:42
Alex Song challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ruben Rochina restarts play with the free kick.39:51
A cross is delivered by Clarindo Andre Santos.39:20
Mikel Arteta decides to take the corner short.38:50
The ball is sent over by Yao Gervinho, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.35:36
Corner taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta from the left by-line, save made by Paul Robinson.35:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Song by Mauro Formica. Free kick taken by Alex Song.33:21
The assist for the goal came from Aaron Ramsey.33:21 Goal scored
Goal! - Mikel Arteta - Blackburn 1 - 2 Arsenal Mikel Arteta fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal.32:31
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Steven Nzonzi. Direct free kick taken by Clarindo Andre Santos.32:12
David Hoilett sends in a cross, save made by Wojciech Szczesny.31:37
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mauro Formica by Mikel Arteta. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.29:46
The referee blows for offside against Ayegbeni Yakubu. Laurent Koscielny takes the free kick.28:57
Corner taken by Gael Givet from the left by-line, Christopher Samba has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.28:31
Shot by Christopher Samba. Per Mertesacker gets a block in.27:41
Aaron Ramsey challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.24:43
Assist by David Hoilett.24:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Ayegbeni Yakubu - Blackburn 1 - 1 Arsenal Ayegbeni Yakubu grabs a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal.23:54
Shot on goal by Yao Gervinho from just inside the area goes over the target.23:20
Handball decision goes against Radosav Petrovic. Per Mertesacker takes the indirect free kick.22:05
The ball is swung over by Bacary Sagna, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, Steven Nzonzi makes a clearance.21:33
Effort from 12 yards by Yao Gervinho. Save by Paul Robinson.19:58
Andrey Arshavin has an effort at goal. Save made by Paul Robinson.19:22
Andrey Arshavin has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Jason Lowe gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, clearance made by Gael Givet.17:25
The ball is crossed by Ruben Rochina, Header from close range by Christopher Samba misses to the right of the goal.17:25 Substitution
Substitution Radosav Petrovic joins the action as a substitute, replacing Michel Salgado.17:25
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Nzonzi by Mikel Arteta.17:17
The ball is delivered by David Hoilett, clearance made by Laurent Koscielny.13:53
Robin van Persie crosses the ball.12:42
Aaron Ramsey is adjudged to have handled the ball. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.12:31
Laurent Koscielny crosses the ball, clearance by Christopher Samba.12:04
Inswinging corner taken by Mikel Arteta.11:40
Centre by Andrey Arshavin, Michel Salgado gets a block in.10:54
Mikel Arteta fouled by Steven Nzonzi, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.9:54
Assist by Alex Song.9:54 Goal scored
Goal! - Yao Gervinho - Blackburn 0 - 1 Arsenal Yao Gervinho finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-1 Arsenal.8:57
Foul by David Hoilett on Bacary Sagna, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Per Mertesacker.7:36
The ball is delivered by Bacary Sagna, Robin van Persie takes a shot.7:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clarindo Andre Santos by Ruben Rochina. Clarindo Andre Santos takes the free kick.5:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ayegbeni Yakubu on Per Mertesacker. Per Mertesacker takes the direct free kick.4:38
A cross is delivered by Bacary Sagna, Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.3:56
Shot from outside the box by Ruben Rochina goes wide right of the target.2:57
Mauro Formica concedes a free kick for a foul on Laurent Koscielny. Direct free kick taken by Clarindo Andre Santos.1:58
David Hoilett crosses the ball, save by Wojciech Szczesny.0:25
Bacary Sagna produces a cross, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.0:18
Centre by Bacary Sagna, Gael Givet gets a block in.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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