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Football
Pressure shifts from Kean back to Wenger
Blackburn silence protestors with a 4-3 victory over Wenger's Arsenal during a thrilling encounter at Ewood Park.
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2011 15:19
New signing Yakubu gets his Blackburn career off to flying start while helping to lift pressure off his boss [GETTY] 

In one of the most entertaining games of the season so far, Blackburn twice came from behind to record a surprise 4-3 victory over Arsenal on Saturday in the English Premier League.

The defeat put pressure back on Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger who had hoped his team's victory over Swansea and draw away at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League was a turning point for his new-look side. However, Wenger's latest defeat has revealed a defence which is arguably the weakest in the league.

Although fans have been turning against Wenger in their droves over the last couple of months, Blackburn manager Steve Kean has had just as much negativity to deal with.

Before the victory, Rovers were lying at the foot of the table and protestors campaigned outside Ewood Park before kick-off to urge owner's Venky's to give him the boot.

It is likely their discontent will be ignored, however, after the club's owners looked down on a determined and attacking performance from Kean's side, a team who looked eager to prove the doubters wrong.

"This one shows the type of character that everyone's questioning," Kean said.

"I think one percent of people demonstrated and hopefully we can turn them round because the rest of the people, the 99 percent that were behind us from minute one, saw a fantastic performance and what we're all about."

Leaking defence

Nigerian striker Yakubi, unwanted by Everton, helped to inspire the victory which saw Blackburn leapfrog Arsenal in the table. 

The defeat leaves Arsenal with just four points from their opening five games and means Wenger's side have now conceded 12 goals in the last two away games in the Premier League.

The loss also exposed the frailty in Arsenal's defence, which conceded two own goals during a pulsating contest.

The Gunners had taken the lead on 10 minutes, Alex Song splitting the defence with a weighted pass to find Gervinho who rifled a low angled shot shot beyond Paul Robinson.

But despite dominating play Arsenal were unable to add to their lead and were rocked on 25 minutes when Yakubu conjured a goal out of nothing, picking up David Hoilett's pass to finish beyond the advancing Wojciech Szczesny.

However, Arsenal were back in front within nine minutes, when new signing Mikel Arteta opened his account for the club, sweeping in Aaron Ramsey's cross with aplomb to put Arsenal 2-1 up.

Yet with the game under control, the defensive brittleness which has become Arsenal's hallmark in recent seasons reared its head early in the second half.

There appeared to be little danger Ruben Rochina chipped in an innocuous free-kick from near the right-hand side of the penalty box, but Arsenal's failure to clear cost them dear as Song diverted the ball into his own net.

Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson shows how important the victory is to him [GALLO/GETTY] 

Sensing Arsenal's unease, Blackburn ramped up the pressure and on 59 minutes they took the lead after another setpiece.

A Hoilett corner found Steven Nzonzi at the far side of the area, and the Frenchman lashed a shot towards the six-yard box which was turned in by Yakubu for the striker's second of the match.

A wretched afternoon for Arsenal got even worse on 69 minutes when a swift counter-attack down the right saw Martin Olsson burst clear.

The Swedish international accelerated past Johan Djourou before beating Alex Song and cutting back into the six-yard area where Laurent Koscielny steered into his own net for the second own goal of the match.

Substitute Marouane Chamakh raised Arsenal's hopes of a comeback when he headed in on 85 minutes as the Londoners laid siege to the Blackburn goal.

Robin Van Persie had a close-range effort well saved by Robinson while both Chamakh and Per Mertesacker should have hit the target with headed chances.

Theo Walcott might have had legitimate claims for a penalty when he was bundled over by Robinson, but Rovers were not to be denied their first win of the season. And neither was Kean, who will look to build on two positive Premier League performances to show the true promise of his side.

For Wenger, it is back to business as usual - responding to fans' criticism and awkward questions. 

Source:
Agencies
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