Cesc Fabregas produced a masterful display to make it an anniversary to remember for Arsene Wenger.
Six of the best for Wenger
Cesc Fabregas produced a masterful display to make it an anniversary to remember for Arsene Wenger and show Arsenal mean business as they look to challenge for the title again this season. Wenger became the club's longest serving manager this week when he celebrated 13 years in charge and saw his side give him the perfect present as they picked up their sixth consecutive victory with a vintage performance.
The Arsenal manager has made a number of key signings during his lengthy spell with the club - none more so than Fabregas who was simply outstanding as he set up four goals and scored a wonder goal himself. Arsenal may have gone four-years without winning a trophy, but Wenger will not stand a better chance of seeing his young side end their barren spell if they continue to blow away teams with their free-flowing attacking style of play.
The Arsenal supporters once again turned up in there thousands to pay tribute to Wenger's remarkable achievement. Former players including Nigel Winterburn and Ray Parlour also showed their support while the biggest cheer of the day came for former hero Thierry Henry who was paraded to the home supporters on the pitch before the game. Wenger has managed to transform the club since his arrival in 1996 and introduced a style of play which will never be forgotten at the north London club.
But it was Blackburn who threatened to spoil the party when they opened the scoring on four minutes. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson played a long free-kick into the box and French midfielder Steven Nzonzi rose above Thomas Vermaelen to head the ball over Vito Mannone into the back of the net. Arsenal came within a whisker of a grabbing an equaliser on 11 minutes. Andrei Arshavin's cross into the box picked out Fabregas who saw his close-range header tipped on to the bar by Robinson.
The home side drew level on 17 minutes when Abou Diaby raced unchallenged towards the Blackburn box before laying the ball in to Fabregas. The Arsenal captain picked out Vermaelen and he unleashed a left-foot shot which flew past Robinson into the corner of the net. Blackburn restored their lead on the half-hour mark when David Dunn weaved his way into the box and saw his shot take a wicked deflection off William Gallas and completely wrong-foot Mannone in the Arsenal goal.
Wenger's spirited young side wasted no time getting back on level terms as Robin van Persie netted his fourth goal of the season on 33 minutes. Fabregas played another superb ball which picked out the Dutch striker and he showed all his predatory instincts to fire a left-foot shot past Robinson. The Spaniard proved the difference once again on 37 minutes when he played another terrific pass to set up Arshavin who fired the home side into the lead.
Arsenal put the game beyond Blackburn when Fabregas scored a brilliant goal on 57 minutes. The Spaniard chested down Tomas Rosicky's pass and fired into the roof of the net. Theo Walcott, returning from injury, made an immediate impact when he came on as a substitute. He raced on to a pass from Fabregas and slotted the ball past poor Robinson. Nicklas Bendtner completed the rout on 89 minutes when he cut inside and fired home.