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Match Report


Posted Sat 21 Aug 10 at 18:20 PM


There was to be no repeat of Blackpool's opening day heroics as the Tangerines went down 6-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates.

Ian Holloway made one change from the opening day victory at Wigan with Brett Ormerod making way for Ludovic Sylvestre, while new signing Dekel Keinan started on the bench.

Blackpool made a bright start, Marlon Harewood and Elliot Grandin combining on five minutes, but Grandin's cross could only find Manuel Almunia in the Arsenal goal.

Moments later and the hosts had a chance of their own when Matt Gilk's sloppy goal kick fell to Theo Walcott, but his pull back evaded Marouane Chamakh in the box.

The Seasiders continued to look composed in possession and David Vaughan tested Almunia with a bending shot from 18 yards out.

But Blackpool's early endeavour was undone when Theo Walcott opened the scoring on 14 minutes.

Tomas Rosicky fed the ball into the path of Andrey Arshavin on the edge of the area and the Russian squared for Walcott to fire home.

Holloway's men could and should have levelled, though, when Gary Taylor-Fletcher headed wide Stephen Crainey's inch perfect cross.

The resurgent Walcott, perhaps inspired by Fabio Capello's World Cup snub, nearly made it two on 30 minutes.

Chamakh and Rosicky exchanged passes to feed the winger in behind the Blackpool defence but he could only blaze wildly over.

Disaster was to strike for the Tangerines seconds later, when Ian Evatt was sent off for a tackle on Chamakh with the striker one-on-one with Gilks.

Referee Mike Jones had no hesitation in reaching for the red card and awarding a penalty, which Arshavin fired coolly home.

Holloway was forced into a tactical reshuffle with Keinan replacing Sylvestre on 37 minutes.

But with Arsenal on the rampage, Walcott grabbed his second and the Gunners third shortly before half-time, Chamakh feeding the irrepressible wide man who did the rest.

The Gunners began the second half as they ended the first, enjoying large periods of possession, and Abou Diaby took full advantage, converting Bacary Sagna's pull back to make it 4-0 on 48 minutes.

Five minutes later, Harewood and Taylor-Fletcher made way for Ormerod and Ishmel Demontagnac as Holloway looked to freshen things up.

The 10-men struggled cope with attack after Arsenal attack and it was no surprise that the turbo-charged Walcott completed his hat-trick, to make it five-nil after 58 minutes.

Diaby slid in the game's outstanding player, who took a touch with his right before firing home with his left.

In spite of the score line Blackpool's 3000-strong Tangerine Army refused to be silenced and were perhaps relieved to see Walcott replaced by Robin Van Persie on the hour, with Diaby making way for Cesc Fabregas.

And Van Persie was to have a hand in Arsenal's sixth, whipping a delightful corner kick on to the head of Chamakh to head home his first goal in red and white, with ten minutes remaining.

Holloway will perhaps rue Evatt's first-half dismissal which set the tone for a rampant Arsenal victory, final score Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool.

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