Belfast Telegraph

Rampant Gunners hammer Blackpool

Theo Walcott's hat-trick brought Barclays Premier League newcomers Blackpool back down to earth with a crushing 6-0 defeat at Arsenal.

England winger Walcott drilled the Gunners into an early lead and Andrey Arshavin then netted a penalty after referee Mike Jones ruled Ian Evatt had fouled Marouane Chamakh, and as the last man was shown a straight red card.

Walcott added a third five minutes before the break, before Abou Diaby made it 4-0 at the start of the second half and the England man completed his hat-trick with another well-taken goal. Chamakh headed in a sixth in the 83rd minute.

World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas and runner-up Robin van Persie came off the bench for the last half-hour as the Gunners completed a convincing victory.

Arsenal went in front early on after Arshavin, Chamakh and Tomas Rosicky combined. With the Blackpool defence stretched, Arshavin put Walcott clear and he dispatched a first-time strike into the bottom corner.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute when Evatt slid in from behind on Chamakh.

Evatt was sent off and Arshavin drove the ball into the bottom right corner.

In the 38th minute, Walcott turned Dekel Keinan on the penalty spot and drilled the ball into the far corner for 3-0 half-time lead.

Diaby swept in Bacary Sagna's centre for a fourth and Walcott completed his hat-trick when he curled the ball inside the post.

Chamakh then headed in Van Persie's corner for a sixth.


From Belfast Telegraph