Pool go down fighting

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (left) and Blackpool manager Ian Holloway (right) shake hands before kick off of the Barclays Premier League match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (left) and Blackpool manager Ian Holloway (right) shake hands before kick off of the Barclays Premier League match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool.
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Blackpool 1, Arsenal 3

Blackpool slipped to another defeat at the hands of title-chasing Arsenal but they refused to go down without a fight.

After the first half which was bossed by the visitors, Ian Holloway’s men produced a storming second half performance which had the Gunners worried.

But for a dubious refereeing decision, when Lee Mason mystery failed to give a penalty after Gary Taylor-Fletcher was clearly upended by Laurent Koscielny, the Seasiders might have snatched a least a point.

Arsenal were excellent in the first period and scored twice through Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue.

Diaby tapped in from close range after 18 minutes , after great build-up play involving Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie.

Three minutes later, Eboue exchanged passes with England international Jack Wilshere and hammered the ball past Richard Kingson.

Nasri hit the post and Van Persie had a goal ruled out for offside.

DJ Campbell, back after a three-match suspension, almost scored on the stroke of half-time but it was definitely Arsenal’s half.

However the Seasiders emerged for the second half looking like a different team and scored on 51 minutes when Taylor-Fletcher slotted the ball into the open net after Campbell had rounded Jens Lehmann.

Adam created the goal with a beautifully slotted through ball.

With their tails up, the Seasiders surged forward but when Mason failed to award a penalty for the challenge on Taylor-Fletcher, and Keith Southern missed a golden opportunity to score with a header, Arsenal regained control.

Van Persie twice shot wide, one a cracking angled volley, before the Dutchman eventually hit the target after being teed up by Gunners substitute Theo Walcott.

It meant the afternoon ended in disappointment for Holloway’s team but Pool can hold their heads high after their battling second half showing.

BLACKPOOL: Kingson, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Southern, Adam, Puncheon, Taylor-Fletcher,

Campbell, Varney. Subs: Rachubka, Kornilenko Eardley, Ormerod, Phillips, Reid, Beattie

ARSENAL: Lehmann, Diaby, Fabregas, Koscielny, Nasri, Van Persie, Squillaci, Wilshere, Clichy, Arshavin,

Eboue. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Walcott, Ramsey, Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner

REF: Lee Mason (Bolton)

ATT: 16,030