English Premiership

Gunners squash Tangerines

2010-08-21 18:05
Theo Walcott (AP)

London - 

Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick as Arsenal handed Premier League new boys Blackpool a painful lesson in the realities of life in the top flight with a 6-0 thrashing at the Emirates on Saturday.

After the euphoria of their own 4-0 opening day win over Wigan, Ian Holloway's side endured a reality check after being reduced to ten men midway through the first half.

By then, Walcott had already given the Gunners the lead, finishing off Andrey Ashavin's pass with a first-time drive from the right of the box.

Arshavin made it two with a 32nd-minute penalty after Ian Evatt was ordered off for bringing down Marouane Chamakh with a challenge from behind.

Walcott claimed his second six minutes from the break and might easily have completed his hat-trick before the break as the Gunners turned the screw.

Abou Diaby was on target four minutes after the restart, Walcott claimed the match ball as the hour mark approached and Chamakh rounded things off with his first Arsenal goal, seven minutes from time.

Tottenham also claimed their first win of the season after holding out under intense late pressure for a 2-1 win at Stoke.

Gareth Bale's opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Stoke's Jamaica striker Ricardo Fuller on 25 minutes.

But Wales international Bale restored Spurs' advantage five minutes later with a stunning left-foot volley that ultimately was enough to secure the three points for Harry Redknapp's men.

A scrappy encounter between Birmingham and Blackburn burst into life after the interval in the wake of a stunning penalty save by Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster, who tipped Morten Gamst Pedersen's well-struck spotkick on to the woodwork.

Steven Nzonzi headed Blackburn into the lead shortly afterwards but Birmingham bounced back to win 2-1 thanks to a Craig Gardner double.

Tim Cahill opened Everton's goal account for the season and gave them a half-time lead over Wolves at Goodison Park.

But the Australian midfielder's left-footed effort was cancelled out by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who converted a Kevin Doyle cross with quarter of an hour left to secure a deserved point for the visitors.

Nigerian forward Peter Odemwingie marked his debut for West Brom with the only goal of a 1-0 win over Sunderland. The striker, signed this week from Lokomotiv Moscow, was teed up by Chris Brunt and, with nine minutes left to play, took his chance with a cool finish.

West Ham remain pointless after squandering a chance to take the lead against Bolton when Carlton Cole had a tame first-half penalty saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Avram Grant's side were made to pay for that miss as a Matthew Upson own goal and a header from Swedish striker Johan Elmander gave the visitors control of the match.

A Mark Noble penalty put the Hammers back in it but Elmander made sure of the points for Bolton with his second of the afternoon, six minutes from time.

Chelsea, who started the defence of their title with a 6-0 romp against West Brom last weekend, had the chance to return to the top of the table when they visited Wigan for an early evening fixture. Manchester United are in action on Sunday, when Sir Alex Ferguson's side visit Fulham.

Read more on:    epl  |  theo walcott  |  blackpool  |  arsenal
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