Blackpool 1 Arsenal 3: We’re still in it, insists Van Persie

"We have it in ourselves, we just have to prove it now," says Arsenal striker after win at Blackpool

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Barclays Premier League, 10 April 2011, Bloomfield Road
Taylor-Fletcher (52)
1 - 3
Diaby (18) Eboue (21) van Persie (76)

Robin van Persie has declared that Arsenal can prove their doubters wrong and overturn a seven-point deficit to win the Premier League title after the Gunners overcame Blackpool on Sunday.

Arsène Wenger’s men narrowed the gap on leaders Manchester United with their first league win in three games in an enthralling top flight encounter at Bloomfield Road.

With a game in hand on Sir Alex Ferguson’s men and with United yet to travel to the Emirates, Van Persie insists Arsenal can still snatch the title from United’s grasp.

“We have seven games to play for and it’s up to us now,” said Van Persie. “We have it in ourselves [to win our remaining seven games], we just have to prove it now. We are a great team so it’s up to us.”

Abou Diaby put the visitors in front after 18 minutes when he stroked home Van Persie’s low pass across goal after breaking free of the Blackpool rearguard.

Emmanuel Eboue then doubled the lead three minutes later with a rasping left-footed strike after he was fed by Jack Wilshere as the Gunners ran riot in front of the Blackpool goal.

But Gary Taylor-Fletcher hauled Ian Holloway’s side back into the match on 52 minutes when he slotted home a loose ball after Jens Lehmann, who started the game after Manuel Almunia injured his knee in the warm-up, had brought down DJ Campbell.

A pulsating encounter was then put to bed 15 minutes from time when substitute Theo Walcott darted down the right wing and slid a pass across goal for Van Persie to tap in.

“We needed this,” said Van Persie afterwards. “We’re very pleased. Everyone had a really good performance and we worked hard together so it was a deserved win.”

Lehmann admitted he was not expecting to feature in Wenger’s first team after making his shock return to north London.

“Sometimes life is about surprises and that happened to me, and you never know what’s coming in the upcoming weeks,” he said. “We’re back now and let’s see how far we can go.”

And Lehmann insists he is not bothered if he doesn’t play again this term. “I don’t care,” he added. “If that was my final game ever I am pleased because we have won. So let’s wait and see what’s happens.”

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