Arsenal won a tough fixture on the road. Blackburn's physical play usually causes the Gunners trouble, and today was no different. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie got their first starts of the season, after extended post-World Cup vacations. Unfortunately, the always-fragile van Persie took a couple of knocks to his ankle and left the game hobbling in the first half. Fabregas slowly rounded into form as the game progressed, looking increasingly dangerous in the second half, before being withdrawn for the last quarter hour of the match.
Despite occasional moments of fluidity - exemplified by the series of one-touch passes resulting in the game's first goal, scored by Theo Walcott - the hard-working Blackburn defense successfully disrupted the Gunners' offensive movement for much of the match. After Walcott's goal, Blackburn came back to tie the match before the end of the first half. Andrei Arshavin untied it again in the second half, with his second goal of the season, scored on a rebound in the box; and the Gunners held on for a hard-earned victory. They are for the moment on top of the league table, although Chelsea should reclaim that spot after a home game against Stoke City later today.