Arsene Wenger didn’t even seem to lose control like he always does when Arsenal kick the bucket. His gunners, fighting to find some way of early season form that doesn’t involve losing and conceding goals, led twice, entering the second half with a two goal lead. Twenty three minutes later, two own goals and Aiyegbini Yakubu’s second goal (from offside) put Blackburn well ahead with a stunning 4-2. Marouane Chamakh gave Arsenal a bit of hope with a goal off the bench, but it was too little, too late.
Steve Kean and his men didn’t enter the home match at Ewood Park with a feeling of support, as fans protested against the manager’s 1 point from the first four matches. Ten minutes into the game, they didn’t have anything new to feel good about. Gervinho scored to give Arsenal the lead, and despite Yakubu’s equalizer in the 25th minute, it was Arsenal’s match, with their passing game working and Blackburn’s David Hoilett being the only man to actually pose any danger for the gunners.
Mikel Arteta finished off a beautiful attack to give the lead back to Arsenal. At that point Blackburn lacked aggression and passion, making things very easy for Arsenal. A team that flourishes without physical pressure, but their softness, lack of intelligence and bad luck came back to haunt them and bite in the second half.
A dumb free kick given by Andrei Arshavin gave Blackburn their 2-2. The ball bounced off Alex Song’s knee, who tried to balance and gain control inside the 5 meter box instead of just clearing it. The momentum shifted, and Martin Olsson’s entrance provided Blackburn with the spark they needed to crush Arsenal. Yakubu scored his second with a tiny offside infringement, but the poor Gunners coverage from both Mertesacker and Koscielny was more striking than the linesman mistake.
In general, the Arsenal full backs failed to stop anyone coming at them all match. While Sagna was still playing things were still OK, but once he was injured and replaced by Djourou, Blackburn began rampaging down his flank. Another counter attack, and Arsenal’s panic got the best of them again, with Koscielny scoring his own goal.
Blackburn, naturally, pushed back. Arsenal threw in Walcott and Chamakh, and the Moroccan striker even got a goal. Paul Robinson with a couple of brilliant saves, and Arsenal with a couple of incredible misses (Mertesacker and Chamakh), kept the points at Ewood Park.
For Wenger, it was the sound of disillusionment. His talk of this team being better without Nasri and Fabregas made me laugh. Watching them drop two leads against Blackburn made me sad for him. Lying to your fans and yourself won’t get you anywhere. Arsenal were lucky to scrape a 1-1 draw in Germany mid week. They have a long way to go before this team is back to the place its fans demand it to be – challenging for titles. I’m not sure they’ll get there while Wenger remains at the helm.