Arsenal's Theo Walcott (pictured) scored a hat-trick at the Emirates on Saturday as the Gunners thumped Blackpool 6-0, giving the Premier League newcomers an ominous reminder of the challenge that lies ahead.
REUTERS - Theo Walcott was back to his scintillating best with an impressive hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed 10-man Blackpool 6-0 to bring the promoted side crashing back to Premier League reality on Saturday.
Walcott scored two in the first half then added a superb third while an Andrei Arshavin penalty and goals by Abou Diaby and Marouane Chamakh piled on the agony for the visitors, who won their opener 4-0 at Wigan Athletic last week.
Blackpool defender Ian Evatt was sent off after half an hour when the score was 1-0 for bringing down Chamakh, leading to Arshavin's penalty.
Gareth Bale got two, the second a superb volley, as Tottenham Hotspur won 2-1 at Stoke City helped by a controversial late decision that the ball had not crossed the goalline that left Stoke fuming.
Bolton Wanderers won 3-1 at West Ham United, Birmingham City beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 and West Bromwich Albion beat Sunderland 1-0.
Champions Chelsea visit Wigan Athletic -- who they beat 8-0 on the last day of the season to secure the title -- later on Saturday.
Manchester United play Fulham away on Sunday while Manchester City host Liverpool on Monday night.
Date created : 2010-08-21