Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn
You come at the King, you best not miss, in the words of the great Omar Little. A few people, including myself, have had a pop at Fabregas lately, and his performance against Blackburn on Saturday was an imperious two-fingered salute to those unworthy plebs.
In attack, it was a wonderful team performance but Fabregas was at the heart of almost everything. He was directly involved in the first five goals, with four assists as well as a fine left-footed strike, and not on the pitch for Bendtner's sixth.
Arshavin is an exciting addition and could make a huge difference for us, but we should be in no doubt as to who is the pivotal figure in this Arsenal side. There was a show of apparent commitment after his goal, let's hope that bout of badge-kissing was genuine. It would be a real shame to lose this guy at only 22, having never really surrounded him with the team mates he deserves.
Yet again, notes of caution must be sounded. Two soft goals conceded first half. The first- Robinson kicks all the way to our penalty area, one header, loops over Mannone and in. Comical stuff. After Vermaelen, who'd been outjumped for that goal, hit back with another belter from the edge of the box, we were caught out by a simple counterattack, ending with Dunn somewhat luckily finding the net off Gallas. It was disturbing to see Blackburn break into our penalty area with such ease. Throughout the game, Song looked to miss the help that Denilson had provided in earlier games. This must be part of Diaby's remit but to be honest I'm close to giving up on this guy showing any professionalism.
Blacknurn were unlucky on a couple of occasions second half aswell- Dunn should have had a penalty at 3-2, and one of their subs had a shot deflected onto the post at 4-2. But let's focus a bit more on the positives.
After going 2-1 behind, the reaction was swift and decisive. Two vintage slide-rule passes by Fabregas set up first Van Persie and then Arshavin to put Arsenal ahead. Second half, two more goals at vital moments ensured that we wouldn't have a similar debacle to the Spurs game last season. Shortly after Dunn's penalty appeal came Fabregas's screamer. Then after a period of Blackburn pressure a swift break saw Arshavin tee up Fab, and again he picked the perfect pass, a subtle touch for the returning Walcott who slid the ball tidily into the far corner. Bendtner added the icing on the cake with a late strike, cutting in from the left to blast home via a post.
The substitutes were another bonus. When Theo came on he showed how he can offer something different, more direct, stretching the opposition defence. After his goal Arshavin and Fabregas were replaced by Ramsey, who showed a fine range of passing, and Bendtner who scored a great goal. I realise they were coming on with the job done and little pressure but hopefully it goes some way to dispelling the idea that we lack strength in reserve.
I just hope Nasri is back soon because Diaby is still unconvincing.