Blackburn 4 Arsenal 3: Kean relieved after dramatic win

Blackburn Rovers manager hailed his side's fighting spirit after they stunned Arsenal at Ewood Park

Premier League, 17 September 2011, Ewood Park
team1
Blackburn
4 - 3
team2
Arsenal

Blackburn boss Steve Kean hailed his side’s character after they recorded their first Premier League victory of the season with a dramatic win over Arsenal at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Several hundred Rovers fans gathered outside the ground before the game to voice their discontent with their club’s poor start to the new campaign.

But Keane’s men went some way towards silencing their critics after Yakubu’s brace and two Arsenal own-goals gave Keane’s side a memorable three points and condemned the visitors to their third defeat of the season.

“It shows the type of character that the couple of hundred people who demonstrated were questioning,” said Keane afterwards.

“Hopefully we can turn them round because the 99 per cent that were behind us in here from minute one saw a fantastic performance and that’s exactly what we’re all about.

“Our second half performance showed what we’ve got in that dressing room, which is 100 per cent team spirit. The boys were really working hard for each other.”

Keane added: “We’ve got character in the side. We’ve been unfortunate not to have more points but we’ve got character and we showed that last season.”

Gervinho fired the Gunners into an early lead when he coolly slotted home Alex Song’s through-ball after 10 minutes.

But the home side drew level 15 minutes later through debutant Yakubu, who deftly poked his early shot past Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsène Wenger’s men took the lead again before the break when Mikel Arteta stroked in Aaron Ramsey’s cut-back.

However, Keane’s men equalised again in the 50th minute after Song inadvertently directed Rubén Rochina’s free-kick into the bottom corner.

Yakubu then scored his second of the afternoon to edge Blackburn ahead for the first time, the Nigeria striker””who looked just offside””tapping home from close-range to make it 3-2.

And a Laurent Koscielny own-goal gave Rovers a fourth after the Arsenal defender accidentally bundled in Martin Olsson low cross.

Substitute Marouane Chamakh nodded home Robin van Persie’s cross with five minutes to play to give the Gunners some late hope, but Blackburn held on to record their first league win of the season.

Man-of-the-match Yakubu, who joined Rovers on transfer deadline day, was thrilled after a hard-fought win.

“To play against Arsenal is so difficult,” he said. “You have to run for the ball and they gave everything. But today the most important thing was to get three points and it’s a very good feeling. I think we deserved to win.”

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