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Rampant Arsenal hit Blackburn for six

sports Updated: Oct 04, 2009 22:23 IST

AFP
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Arsenal turned on the style to celebrate a landmark week for boss Arsene Wenger as the Gunners thrashed Blackburn 6-2 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Wenger became Arsenal's longest serving manager on Thursday with 13 years' service, which began in October 1996, and this was the ideal way to mark the anniversary of his arrival in the Premier League.

Back then the little-known Wenger was greeted with 'Arsene Who' headlines, but he is now the most celebrated and decorated manager seen in these parts of north London.

It was somehow fitting that Thierry Henry, the man most associated with Wenger's successful recent times, was a guest of honour at the Emirates and the sight of the French international beforehand provided extra inspiration.

But no one did more to inspire than the marvellous Cesc Fabregas, who turned in a virtuoso performance to completely unhinge Sam Allardyce's team who had been desperate to deflate the balloons and blow out the candles on Wenger's celebration cake.

Fabregas has struggled to find peak form so far this season, but as if he owed a debt of gratitude to Wenger, he rose to the occasion in magnificent style, scoring one of the goals and playing a crucial part in four of the others as Blackburn were buried under another avalanche of goals.

After the midweek success over Olympiakos and Manchester United's slip-up against Sunderland, Wenger knew this was an opportunity to make another bold statement of intent about the club's title chances and they can go into the international break with a six-game winning streak under their belt and confidence at an all-time high among his players and staff.

Wenger believes there is a resolution about Arsenal's youngsters this season, that has been missing in recent seasons and the manner in which they twice came from behind, before moving out of Rovers' slipstream and powering to victory was vindication of that belief.

Blackburn's first goal was anti-football to Wenger, all brawn and no brain as Steven N'Zonzi's header from Paul Robinson's 60-yard punt looped over Vito Mannone, who will not have been too happy with his positioning.

There was little the Italian could do about Blackburn's second and it was swift counter-attacking of which Wenger would have been proud.

El Hadj Diouf started it deep inside his own half with a wonderful pass to release Brett Emerton. The Australian's pass to left Dunn with plenty still to do before the midfielder's shot deflected off William Gallas and defeated a wrong-footed Mannone.

The response to the abberations in front of Mannone were swift and clinical, inspired by the wonderful vision and awareness of Fabregas.

It was the Spaniard's pass that Thomas Vermaelen launched past Paul Robinson from 25 yards for Arsenal's first equaliser and his fifth goal of the season.

Fabregas's subtle passing on the edge of the area also led to wonderfully taken goals from Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin and if it had not been for Robinson it would have been far worse than six.

Robinson pulled off saves to deny Van Persie, Fabregas and was in excellent form in front of watching England coach Fabio Capello, but there was little he could do to resist the irresistible.

Fabregas thumped in a volley from the edge of the area for Arsenal's fourth and provided the flick for substitute Theo Walcott to score with virtually his first touch, before Nicklas Bendtner rounded off the celebrations in perfect style with a powerful shot from the egde of the area.