Arsenal hammer Blackburn with six of the best
Arsenal 6 Blckburn 2
Arsenal fell behind twice before hitting back to beat Blackburn 6-2 on Sunday and stay just behind the leaders in the Premier League title race.
Although goals by Steven Nzonzi and David Dunn threatened an upset at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners replied through Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin before half time. Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner added three more in the second half for Arsenal's fifth victory in seven games. Walcott was making his first appearance of the season.
"I'm happy with all the team's performance," said Fabregas, who contributed to five of the six Arsenal goals. "You can always do better. It's just one more game in the race for the title."
Asked why he kissed the Arsenal badge on his shirt after his goal, the Spaniard said it was to underline his loyalty to the club.
"There's always some speculation that I don't really like to be here," he said. "I'm committed to this club 100 percent. It's my seventh season here. It's hard sometimes to hear that I'm not committed enough or something. It was a good time to show them that I really love this club."
The victory gives Arsenal 15 points with a game in hand on most of its rivals while Blackburn remains in the lower half of the standings.
This was Arsenal's first game since Arsene Wenger, who joined the Gunners in September 1996, became the club's longest serving manager. Barcelona striker Thierry Henry, who spent eight years under Wenger at Arsenal, was in the crowd to see this impressive fightback.
Rovers stunned the Arsenal fans by taking the lead through Nzonzi's looping header in the fourth minute from a long range free kick. It was the first goal Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone had conceded in 359 minutes.
Vermaelen equalized in the 16th minute with a low, left foot shot from the edge of the area but Blackburn regained the lead when David Dunn's shot took a deflection off William Gallas and beat the 'keeper at the near post.
Van Persie made it 2-2 with a low left foot shot and Arshavin scored the third with an angled shot from Fabregas' pass in the 37th minute. Fabregas scored Arsenal's fourth with a left footer from the edge of the area and Walcott, who had just entered the game, finished a well-worked move with a right footed shot in the 75th.
Bendtner added the sixth with a minute to go with a powerful 18-meter drive.
Stoke captured a point with a 1-1 draw away to Everton and West Ham scored an injury time equalizer to finish 2-2 at home against Fulham.
Robert Huth's 50th minute header gave Stoke the lead at Goodison Park where Leon Osman replied five minutes later.
Although Carlton Cole gave West Ham a 16th minute lead and Fulham had South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgucao sent off after a clash with Scott Parker at Upton Park, the 10-man visitors hit back with Danny Murphy's 47th minute penalty and a goal by Zoltan Gera.
But substitute Junior Stanislas made it 2-2 in the second minute of injury time with a deflected shot.
On Saturday, Manchester United needed an injury time equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford and last place Portsmouth finally ended its seven-game losing run with a 1-0 victory at Wolves.
Elsewhere, Burnley beat Birmingham 2-1, Hull edged Wigan 2-1 and Tottenham was held 2-2 at Bolton.
Latest in Sport
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United goalkeeper spotted arriving at Madrid airport
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: Manchester United to make £24m loss as club want '£35m' for Argentina flop
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives