Gervinho was looking the Gunners' biggest threat from the start, as he appeared dangerous when attacking the Blackburn area, although his poor decision-making and usual hesitation were also present. The Ivory Coast winger had a good opportunity early on as he tricked his way into the area, but he then took too long and allowed Morten Gamst Pedersen to get the tackle in.
Blackburn looked to be doing a discplined job in defence, and although the hosts were enjoying the majority of possession, they were struggling to force any real pressure. They did eventually manage to go close when a series of corners and balls into the box appeared to give Rovers problems, Thomas Vermaelen having the best opportunity but sending his header into the side netting.
Gervinho had already come in for some groans from the home fans and they were about to get louder as he missed an absolute sitter shortly before half-time. Tomas Rosicky, who was enjoying a good game, played him clean through with an excellent through-ball but the Ivorian put his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
Arsenal made no changes after half-time, and Blackburn gave an early warning of their threat after Vermaelen intervened to deny Jordan Rhodes an easy chance, just getting enough of a touch on a cross to divert it behind for a corner, from which Jason Lowe almost scored, but the hosts managed to clear.
Arsenal were becoming frustrated, and responded by making a triple substitution, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere all coming on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, and Rosicky. Almost immediately, however, the Gunners were behind. Martin Olsonn's fierce drive couldn't be kept out by Wojciech Szczesny, and Colin Kazim-Richards was first to the rebound.
Understandably, Blackburn set up to hang on for dear life, and while there was a nervy moment at the end as Theo Walcott got on the end of Jack WIlshere's cross, Jake Kean managed to make the save and preserve a remarkable victory.