Arsenal have another crucial three points after a 3-1 win over Blackpool. The game should have been over in the first half, when the visiting side had a flurry of chances thanks to a lacklustre display from the Blackpool back line. Arsenal converted the first two with assured finished from Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue, but should have scored more than just a couple of goals before half time, so thorough was their dominance. Samir Nasri hit the post with a deft volley, Robin van Persie wasted a few excellent opportunities, and Eboue totally failed to take advantage of an open goal after Richard Kingson had vacated his box for reasons that will be known only to him.
Blackpool came out for the second half apparently refreshed and rejuvenated. It wasn't long until they had clawed one back, Gary Taylor-Fletcher sweeping a loose ball home, but their defensive organisation was much-improved from the first half without compromising their famous attacking flair and they looked for a spell like they were more likely to get the equaliser than Arsenal were to pull away.
The hosts were denied their best opportunity by referee Lee Mason, who denied a strong penalty appeal from the Tangerines after Laurent Koscielny bulldozed Taylor-Fletcher shortly after the striker had opened Blackpool's account, but they had several other chances that they can only blame themselves for failing to take. Eventually, Arsenal's ability to hit on the counterattack told, and van Persie fired home a pass from Theo Walcott with ten minutes left to put the game out of reach.
With the result, Arsenal go to seven points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand, while Blackpool remain just a point away from 18th.