Andrei Arshavin celebrates his goal
This season at Emirates, Wenger’s side had been registering nothing but free-scoring wins and the first 38 minutes only suggested more of the same.
In the opening stages, Cesc Fabregas clipped a long pass forward towards Van Persie. Roger Johnson intervened but only succeeded in nodding the ball invitingly into the path of the onrushing Rosicky, who made a hash of his attempted volley.
Theo Walcott is tackled by Birmingham player
Theo receives medication
Shortly afterwards, Liam Ridgewell clattered Walcott in midfield causing the England midfielder to require treatment. He came back on and, with his first touch, tricked the same defender, sprinted up the right wing and forced Joe Hart to tip over the bar with rasping, angled drive.
Robin van Persie fires Arsenal's first goal
Robin celebrates his goal
Arsenal were starting to pin back Birmingham so the opening goal came as no surprise. In the 16th minute, Song prodded a ball into the left-hand channel, Van Persie dug it out from beneath his own feet before firing home his fourth goal in his last four games.
Abou Diaby scores Arsenal's second goal
A couple of minutes later it was 2-0. An irresistible move ended with Rosicky cutting the ball back across the area from the right-hand side. It was too far behind Van Persie and too far in front of Walcott however Diaby collected then stroked home the second.
Diaby is congratulated after scoring
However, that would change seven minutes before the break. Birmingham players worked a corner to Barry Ferguson, whose cross was nodded high into his own area by Abou Diaby. Larsson’s presence forced Mannone to spill his attempted catch and, with Arsenal awaiting the referee’s whistle, Bowyer hooked home from close range at the far post.
Just before the goal, Walcott had made way for Arshavin. The Englishman was clearly feeling the effects of that early challenge.
Andrei Arshavin receives passing from Cesc Fabregas
Andrei scores a goal
In the second half, both Arsenal and Birmingham players created opportunities to strike, but the score did not change until five minutes from the final whistle. Fabregas led the breakaway and Arshavin teased his marker before steering home a low drive just inside the far post.
Andrei strikes in front of Joe Hart, Birmingham goalkeeper
all pictures from arsenal.com and premierleague.com