Arsenal sink Blackpool | sports | Hindustan Times
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Arsenal sink Blackpool

sports Updated: Apr 11, 2011 00:55 IST

Arsenal closed the gap on Premier League leaders Man United to seven points after goals from Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue and Robin van Persie earned a 3-1 win at Blackpool on Sunday.

With Jens Lehmann making his first appearance for Arsene Wenger's side since coming out of retirement in March, the visitors surged into a two-goal half-time lead.

Diaby scored his second of the season and Eboue managed his first of the campaign in the space of three minutes.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher's effort gave Blackpool hope of a revival just after half time but that was extinguished when Van Persie finished off a counter attack to seal the win. Wenger's team still have a game in hand on United, who have to travel to the Emirates on May 1, while Blackpool remain just one point above the relegation zone after extending their miserable run to one win in 12 matches. Arsenal faced disruption before kick-off with Manuel Almunia picking up a knee injury in the warm up and having to be replaced by Lehmann

Lehmann happy
Lehmann avoided a red card and ended the match all smiles on Sunday. Lehmann, 41, left Arsenal in 2008 and re-joined the club last month as emergency cover after retiring last season following a spell with Stuttgart. Asked afterwards if he feared being dismissed, the German keeper told Sky Sports: "I don't know. The rules sometimes change and I don't know if he had to send me off after I touched him."