Van Persie sparks Arsenal's return to form

By Steve Douglas

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 4 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Arsenal's Robin Van Persie, right, scores his sides second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Blackburn at the Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday Feb. 4, 2012.

Kirsty Wigglesworth, Associated Press

LONDON — Arsenal bounced back with style from its miserable run in the Premier League on Saturday, hammering beleaguered Blackburn 7-1 with Robin van Persie grabbing a hat trick to keep up his stunning form this season.

Substitute Thierry Henry also found the net at Emirates Stadium for his first league goal since returning to the club on loan as Arsene Wenger's team climbed provisionally into fifth place.

Sunderland's impressive run under new manager Martin O'Neill continued with a 1-0 win at Stoke, while there were also victories for Wolverhampton, Norwich and Swansea.

Manchester City hosts Fulham later Saturday looking for a victory to pull three points clear at the top from Manchester United, which visits Chelsea on Sunday.

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