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Football
Seventh heaven for Arsenal against Blackburn
A Robin van Persie hat-trick helps Arsenal to 7-1 win over Blackburn with Thierry Henry once more on the scoresheet.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2012 16:51
The victory gave Arsenal their biggest win of the season as they dominated the early kick-off [GALLO/GETTY] 

Last week the villan, this weekend the hero - manager Arsene Wenger is used to being both heralded and haranged by fans and critics this season. 

The Arsenal boss manages to juggle being a football genius and a manager lucky to still have his job all at the same time.   

His topsy-turvy year with the Gunners continued as they followed a dismal 0-0 draw at the struggling Bolton on Wednesday with an emphatic 7-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.  

Blackburn are certainly not the strongest opponents in the English Premier League but the result gives Arsenal fans a few reasons to be happy. Particularly the form of two players who can do no wrong under Wenger.

The game saw flying Dutchman Robin van Persie score a hat-trick to overtake Dennis Bergkamp on Arsenal's all-time scorers list and lead his club to their first win this year and biggest win of the season. 

Van Persie took sole possession of 10th place on the all-time list with Arsenal's second-minute opener and hit an almost identical goal for 2-1 in the 38th.

And the ever-improving fans' favourite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also chipped in with two goals that showed his rivals he is a force to be reckoned with.  

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first league goal before relegation-threatened Blackburn were reduced to 10 men just before half-time when Gael Givet was sent off for a two-footed foul on Van Persie.

Mikel Arteta added a fourth goal, Oxlade-Chamberlain struck a fifth, Van Persie completed his hat-trick with an unmarked finish in the 62nd and substitute Thierry Henry scored in injury time.

Van Persie now has 22 Premier League goals this season and 123 overall for Arsenal. Henry, who rounded off the rout with his second goal since returning to the London club on loan from Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, leads the standings with 228.

Arsenal's biggest margin of victory in the league since their 6-0 demolition of Blackpool in August 2010 boosted their chances of challenging for a top-four finish and dramatically improved their goal difference, which could prove crucial at the end of the season.

Fourth-place Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool are all still in contention for one of England's four Champions League qualifying spots.

Arsenal may be 14 points off leaders Man City, outside the Champions League places and still lacking consistency but after a result like this few would recommend a change in management quite yet.

Next weekend, perhaps.

Source:
Agencies
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