Arsenal versus Blackburn Rovers is one of those games that you just cannot contemplate anything but a home win.
Ahead of the two sides meeting in the FA Cup on Saturday, the Gunners have annihilated the Lancashire outfit every time they have step foot in North London, especially since Arsenal moved just down the road to the Emirates.
This clash usually throws up a lot of goals, but the two sides meet in rather different circumstances this weekend. Blackburn, now in the Championship, are in disarray in England’s second-tier having been relegated last season, their troubles never seem to cease.
The Gunners on the other hand, and enduring a spell of mixed form at the moment, but will be determined to advance in the competition and end their trophy drought.
But if history has anything to tell us, when Rovers visit the Emirates, there is usually only one outcome.
23 December 2006
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn
The first meeting between these two at Arsenal’s new home proved to be a tough welcome for Blackburn. Despite going ahead in the third minute through a Shabani Nonda penalty, Gilberto levelled things up just seven minutes later before the Gunners ran away with the game.
The other goals for the hosts came from Alex Hleb, Emmanuel Adebayor, Mathieu Flamini as well as a Robin Van Persie brace to leave Nonda’s double for Rovers being far from enough.
11 February 2008
Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn
It was the last Premier League game before THAT Eduardo injury struck at Birmingham.
Despite their romping win in this fixture the season before, it was a much more conventional win for Arsenal this time around as the league leaders registered a goal at the beginning and the ned of the game.
Philippe Senderos’ header put the Gunners in front with just four minutes on the clock before a 90th minute Adebayor goal wrapped up the win for Arsene Wenger’s side.
14 March 2009
Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn
Blackburn’s poor run at the Emirates continued as Arsenal’s record signing turned on the style.
Andrey Arshavin hogged the spotlight and thought he’d got his first Arsenal goal just two minutes in but it was in the end given to Rovers defender Andre Ooijer.
But then the moment that the Arsenal fans had been waiting for as Arshavin dashed down the left, crept up the bye-line before unleashing a fierce finish from an acute angle to send the Emirates into raptures.
Perhaps what was more remarkable was that boo-boy Emmanuel Eboue scored twice in the last few minutes, but this game was Arshavin’s message of intent for what the Premier League was going to have to get used to. How times change.
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn
Funnily enough this was the score the first time the two sides met at the Emirates and it again proved to be easy for Arsenal.
However David Dunn had put Blackburn in front for the second time after Thomas Vermaelen’s equaliser had cancelled out Steven Nzonzi’s opener.
But it didn’t take the Gunners long to go back in front as goals from Robin Van Persie and Andrey Arshavin saw Arsenal go into half time with a 3-2 lead.
Arsene Wenger’s side came out for the second half looking to kill the game off and goals from Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott before a wonderful strike from Nicklas Bendtner ripped away points from Rovers that had been within their reach for the opening 45 minutes.
2 April 2011
Arsenal 0-0 Blackburn
So at the 5th time of asking, Blackburn finally managed to come away from the Emirates with at least a point as this proved to be the game that Arsenal ended their quest for the league title.
Despite 11 corners, 16 shots on goal and 68% possession (according to Soccer Base) Arsene Wenger’s side couldn’t break down the away side’s defensive wall.
Blackburn were even reduced to 10 men as Nzonzi saw red 15 minutes from time but still the Gunners couldn’t find a way through.
So after finally getting their first point from Arsenal’s new home last season, can Blackburn go one step further and take away three? Both sides badly need a win and this is the Premier League, so who knows.
The two sides meet at the Emirates today at 1pm.
4 February 2012
Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn
As you may have guessed, Arsenal absolutely destroyed Blackburn in the last fixture between these two clubs.
Morten Gamst Pedersen had equalised for the visitors with a stunning free kick, after Robin van Persie had put the Gunners ahead.
However, it was 3-1 before the break as the Dutchman grabbed a second before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got in on the act, in a half that saw Gael Givet sent off for Rovers.
The Gunners then romped to a big score in the second half; Van Persie completed his hattrick, Chamberlain got a second, Mikel Arteta got his name on the scoresheet, as well as Thierry Henry coming off the bench to add a seventh.