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1. Wojciech Szczesny - He was a spectator for much of the contest, so can only be judged on his one contribution to the game – his error that lead to the opener. Though Olsson’s shot was vicious, Szczesny should have done far better than palming it into Kazim-Richard’s path.
26. Francis Coquelin - He looked surprisingly comfortable, given he was being played out of position and had just returned from injury. He seemed to tire as the game continued and after his booking the tireless Olssons on the left wing seemed to target him.
6. Laurent Koscielny - Though he was rarely troubled by Blackburn’s few attacks, he did lose concentration at the all important moment as he failed to track Kazim-Richards’ run.
5. Thomas Vermaelen - The skipper made a timely return from injury and didn’t look that out of place. He was vocal and continually put his body on the line. Having said that though, he was not tested nearly as much as he will be on Tuesday night.
17. Nacho Monreal - The Spaniard looks right at home in the Arsenal defence as he put in another fine performance. He started a number of Arsenal’s forays forward, but did let himself down on occasion with some wayward crossing.
8. Mikel Arteta - Though statistically he may have controlled the game, in terms of the number of passes he made and distance he traveled, in reality he struggled to really put his stamp on it. Few of his passes really changed the dynamic of the game and aided Arsenal’s attacks. Not great.
2. Abou Diaby - Though it may be harsh to say so, Diaby’s honeymoon period in his return from injury is quickly running out, and our patience with his poor performances should reflect that. He has yet to show the quality we know he has since his return and he showed all that is wrong with his game today. He was sluggish, didn’t read the game well and slowed the team down with his hesitance on the ball. Not a good performance at all.
7. Tomas Rosicky - As always, his work rate cannot be faulted. He attempted some excellent through balls – many of which were eventually telegraphed – and was always a threat with his penetrative runs. He almost got the perfect return from his efforts, with his fine long rage strike slamming the crossbar.
15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - An up and down performance from the winger. He had the beating of Blackburn’s full-backs all day, though he crossing was poor – though that wasn’t helped by a lack of movement from Arsenal’s forwards. It should also be mentioned that his corners were absolutely disastrous.
12. Olivier Giroud - A very poor game from the Frenchman. Though he was often completely isolated when he found himself with the ball, he did little with it. He showed a real lack of ingenuity on the ball, as he continually attempted the same flick over the top with his back to goal that never yielded any results from the get go. Giroud is really beginning to frustrate the fans to their wits end. Having performed consistently well in January, he has once again struggled to command defences in February. He will have to improve if he leads the line on Tuesday night.
27. Gervinho – Though he may have one more international competition under his belt, in which he put in some stellar performances, Gervinho’s form for Arsenal certainly hasn’t picked up. He showed the same lack of confidence on the ball and lack of awareness of the game around him that saw his departure to South Africa welcomed by the fans. He missed a golden opportunity just before half time that eventually was the telling factor. Incredibly poor.
10, Jack Wilshere, 14. Theo Walcott, 19. Santi Cazorla - Arsene Wenger brought on the cavalry with 20 minutes left, but they struggled to make their mark on the game. Walcott was probably the brightest spark, but they didn’t really help Arsenal’s lack of potency.
Other F.A. Cup Results
|Luton||0 – 3||Millwall|
|Arsenal||0 – 1||Blackburn|
|MK Dons||1 – 3||Barnsley|
|Oldham||2 – 2||Everton|
|Chelsea||E – E||Brentford|
|Manchester City||E – E||Leeds|
|Huddersfield||E – E||Wigan|
‘Til next time…