BLACKBURN, England (AP) – Ayegbeni Yakubu hit two goals on his debut as Blackburn twice came from behind to beat Arsenal 4-3 on Saturday and claim its first win of the Premier League season.
The match was preceded by a protest by several hundred Blackburn fans but Yakubu's double gave manager Steve Kean some breathing space.
''This one shows the type of character that everyone's questioning,'' Kean said. ''I think one percent of people demonstrated and hopefully we can turn them round because the rest of the people, the 99 percent that were behind us from minute one, saw a fantastic performance and what we're all about.''
Arsenal's troubled start to the season deepened despite goals from Gervinho in the 10th minute and Mikel Arteta in the 34th giving Arsene Wenger's team the lead twice during the first half.
Yakubu equalized in the 25th and an own goal from Alexander Song just after halftime pulled Blackburn level again as Arsenal's shaky defense crumpled under the pouring rain at Ewood Park.
Yakubu added a third in the 59th and Laurent Koscielny became the second Arsenal player to put into his own net following Martin Olsson's burst down the right in the 69th.
''We had to press, we had to fight, and we played on the counterattack and I think our second-half performance shows what we've got in that dressing room which is 100 percent team spirit,'' Kean said. ''The boys are really working hard for each other and I'm delighted.''
Marouane Chamakh made it 4-3 in the 85th, but Blackburn resisted, with Paul Robinson saving a late effort from Robin Van Persie and headers off target in stoppage time from Per Mertesacker and Chamakh.
Kean hailed his side's resilience as Arsenal pushed to get back in the game.
''We've got character in the side. We've been unfortunate in the last couple of games not to have more points but we've got character,'' he said.
Arsenal had Gervinho available again after a domestic suspension and the Ivory Coast forward provided most of the early threat, following his opening goal with a fierce shot from a tight angle that forced a save from Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson in the 23rd.
Gervinho wasted a chance to put Arsenal two in front just before half time when he opted to shoot instead of passing to captain Robin Van Persie, who was unmarked in front of goal.
Arsenal's defense - the worst in the Premier League with 14 goals conceded now in five games - creaked every time Blackburn attacked.
Yakubu's opener came from a first-time finish after poor positioning by new signing Andre Santos played the Nigeria striker onside.
Arteta side-footed into the roof of the net to re-establish Arsenal's lead, but set pieces were a constant problem for the Arsenal backline and Blackburn leveled again when Rochina's floated free kick from the edge of the area dribbled off Song into the net in the 50th.
It was more of the same shortly after, when Junior Hoilett's corner found its way to Steven Nzonzi unmarked at the back post and his shot back across goal was diverted in by Yakubu to give Blackburn the lead.
Worse was still to come from the Arsenal defense as Martin Olsson skipped past weak tackles from Johan Djourou and Song before his cutback went in off Koscielny.
Marouane Chamakh pulled a goal back with five minutes of normal time to play, but it was too late for Arsenal to rescue a point.