Arsenal 0 Blackburn 1: Scott Dann revels in ‘great achievement’
Arsenal 0 Blackburn 1: Scott Dann praises the visitors for a "great achievement" after beating the Gunners to reach the sixth round
Scott Dann could not hide his delight after Blackburn Rovers completed a shock FA Cup upset at Arsenal in the fifth round.
Abou Diaby came close to giving the Gunners a first-half lead when the midfielder’s glancing header was parried to safety by Blackburn’s Jake Kean, before Gervinho wasted a clear-cut opportunity on the stroke of half-time.
Arsenal continued to push for an opener and Tomas Rosicky’s long-range drive smashed against Blackburn’s crossbar – and Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to trouble Kean.
But it was Colin Kazim-Richards who broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, with the striker pouncing on a loose ball after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had denied Martin Olsson.
“It’s obviously a great achievement to get the win, get through to the next round and also get the clean sheet,” Dann told BBC Sport.
“We were on a high from the previous results we’ve had in the league. But we knew it would be a tough a task coming here. We knew we had to dig in and cut down the space we gave them. We did that very well.”
He added: “When you come here and look at the team-sheet they’ve always got 11 top players on it. So we didn’t look at their team-sheet before the match and gain confidence from their side.
“But with 25 minutes to go and they’re bringing on the three substitutes they did – Wilshere, Cazorla and Walcott – we knew we had an uphill task. But we hung on.”
Dann, who joined Blackburn from Birmingham in 2011, hopes their FA Cup triumph can inspire the Ewood Park outfit to go on a run in the Championship under new manager Mike Appleton.
“It’s been up and down in the last two years but under the new manager things have started to change. We are not far away from the play-off spots now.”