EARLY GUNNERS BLAST RIPS APART ROVERS
By Nic Evans
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
With The Gunners facing a crucial game in Germany against Bayern Munich next week, manager Arsene Wenger left Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira on the bench.
However, with Sylvain Wiltord in cracking form, this did not hamper the home side as they set about blitzing their First Division opponents.
It was the French striker who opened the scoring in the second minute when he finished off a superb passing move, however, Blackburn must feel disappointed with their defending.
Tony Adams doubled the lead in the fifth minute, an Ashley Cole corner saw Rovers leave wide spaces at the back and it was the stalwart defender who popped up at the back post to head home.
Arsenal destroyed the visitors with their slick passing and movement and it was Gallic flair that secured the game before half-time.
This time it was Robert Pires who smashed home a typical effort from the left hand edge of the box in the 36th minute, a diagonal strike that flew past American international Brad Friedel and into the corner of the net.
Jason McAteer had a goal disallowed, but it was a shadow of the Blackburn team that beat Bolton 3-0 that appeared on Saturday.
Graeme Souness too left players out, starting the game without David Dunn, Damien Duff and Craig Hignett as both sides appeared to concentrate on higher things.
Wenger gave Henry and Vieira a run-out in the second-half with the game all but over.