ESPN Soccernet – Correspondents – Blackpool
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Posted by Rik English on 08/22/2010

Blackpool came back down to earth with an almighty thump as Theo Walcott and his Arsenal team mates gunned down the Seasiders 6-0 at the Emirates on Saturday.

The turning point came half an hour into the game when referee Michael Jones gave last man Ian Evatt his marching orders for a foul on Marouane Chamakh, subsequently awarding Arsenal a penalty kick.

Andrey Arshavin stepped up to slot home the spot kick to give Arsenal a two goal advantage leaving Blackpool to play an hour of football away to Arsenal with only 10 men.

The game as a contest was effectively over and Arsenal could have ended up with double figures.

The Tangerines started brightly but found themselves a goal down after just 12 minutes when Theo Walcott finished off a slick Arsenal passing move.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher then headed wide Pool's best opportunity to draw level climbing high at the back post only to head Stephen Crainey's cross wide of Manuel Almunia's goal.

Shortly after Evatt was off and Ollie's men were two down after only 32 minutes.

There was time for Walcott to grab his second and Arsenal's third before half time when Chamakh played him in after 39 minutes.

At half time the game had gone and the only question remaining was; how many can Arsenal score?

Abou Diaby added a fourth just three minutes after the restart and Theo Walcott later superbly added his hat-trick goal, passing the ball into the bottom right corner of Matt Gilks' goal after 58 minutes.

Despite being 5-0 down with over half an hour still to play, Blackpool's fans could not be silenced. The Tangerine Army were a credit to their Football Club throughout the game and did not stop cheering on their team at any point throughout the 90 minutes.

Arsene Wenger decided to give Pool a break when he replaced hat-trick hero Walcott and Diaby, only to give world cup finalists Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie a run out for the final thirty minutes.

Blackpool defended resolutely for the remainder of the contest and only had their goal breached one more time by Moroccan International Chamakh who himself should have had at least a hat-trick of goals.

After the game Ian Holloway and Arsene Wenger both paid tribute to Blackpool's fans who supported their team throughout and were making more noise than the home supporters at the final whistle.

The players and coaching staff should not be too disheartened by results like this away from home against one of the league's top gun's. Ultimately results against teams around the bottom half of the table will decide Pool's fate this season.

Despite defeat, Blackpool still find themselves in the top half of the Premier League table.

So don't stop believing, don't lose heart, enjoy the roller-coaster ride this season and keep up the super support.

FT: Arsenal 6 - 0 Blackpool
Walcott 12, 39, 58
Arshavin 32 (pen)
Diaby 49
Chamakh 83

Starting Line-Ups

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Song, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby (>62), Wilshere, Walcott (>62), Rosicky, Arshavin (>66), Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Fabregas (<62), Van Persie (<62), Vela (<66), Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Sylvestre (>37), Vaughan, Adam, Grandin, Harewood (>57), Taylor-Fletcher (>57). Subs: Halstead, Eardley, Ormerod (<57), Basham, Edwards, Ishmel (<57), Keinan (<37)

Date: 21/08/10

Venue: Emirates Stadium


Referee: Michael Jones


Posted by Terry Fraser on 08/25/2010

Facing a strong Arsenal squad would have proved a very difficult challenge, but to try to keep up with them with 10 men was impossible. To Holloway's credit, or not, depending on your perspective, he kept the team pressing for something positive, instead of going into a defensive shell.
However, regardless of your preferred manner of play, one needs to look very seriously at Blackpool's expected end of the year position and wonder just how important goal differential might be and whether Holloway employed the best strategy, particularly when the game moved further out of hand.
The team is desperately trying to bring in new blood to stengthen the squad but if successful, won't have time to work them into the squad for the Fulham game. The Seasiders are finding it difficult to work out loans for quality players or to find players at attractive transfer prices.
Not getting a positive result in the Carling Cup tie versus mkdons will not raise expectations for the wekend!

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