By FOX SPORTS staff
With Bayern Munich lying in wait next week, the Frenchman opted to rest stars like Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, but the rest of his players failed to secure Arsenal an advantage.
Gervinho came the closest after being put through via a beautiful Tomas Rosicky through-ball, but the Ivorian's shot bobbled wide with just the goalkeeper to beat. Instead it was Blackburn who emerged with the winner, when Colin Kazim-Richards tucked away a rebounded attempt from Marcus Olsson.
Wojciech Szczesny - 6.0
The Gunners goalkeeper was a spectator for most of the game and failed to inspire confidence during the rare occasions he found himself on the ball. Ultimately, his ability to do no more but parry away Marcus Olsson's shot indirectly caused Arsenal their place in the FA Cup.
Francis Coquelin - 6.0
Utilized at right-back by manager Arsene Wenger, Coquelin dawdled on the ball a little longer than his manager would have liked. The 21-year old seemed to lack awareness of his team-mates and often deployed desperate crosses in hopes of someone getting on the end of them.
Thomas Vermaelen - 6.5
The Gunners skipper put in an admirable performance for most of the game, staying close to Blackburn dangerman Jordan Rhodes to deny the forward service from his team-mates. Unfortunately, he would likely prefer to forget the match as he failed to clear Colin Kazim-Richards' attempt off the line after the Rovers striker scuffed his shot.
Laurent Koscielny - 6.5
Snapping at the heels of the Blackburn attack whenever the ball crossed the halfway line, Koscielny did very little wrong in this tie. Nonetheless, Wenger will question why his compatriot allowed Marcus Olsson to surge upfield unmarked during the fateful occasion that lead to the Rovers' goal.
Nacho Monreal - 7.0
Although it is still early days in the Spaniard's career with Arsenal, but Monreal's display suggested that he could become a fan favourite at the Emirates Stadium. Demonstrating intelligence in his supporting runs upfield, the former Malaga man found space with ease when going on the attack and also made sure not to neglect his defensive duties down the left flank.
Abou Diaby - 6.5
The Gunners dominated in possession, a statistic that Diaby contributed heavily to. Shielding the ball and supporting his team-mates under pressure, the Frenchman was given plenty of opportunities to influence the game positively. However, Diaby often chose the safer option of passing the ball sideways or backwards. The midfielder could have altered the score-line midway through the first half after meeting a Tomas Rosicky corner with a thumping header had Jake Kean not been equal to his attempt.
Tomas Rosicky (off 70') - 7.5
While most of his midfield partners were content to play it safe, Rosicky probed and teased the Blackburn defence with his characteristic surges on the ball. The Czech player should have gotten an assist to his name after laying a brilliant through-ball on a plate for Gervinho, but was let down by his team-mate's finishing.
Mikael Arteta - 6.0
The Spaniard sat back in his usual holding midfield role to protect the Arsenal defence, but did little to alter the complexion of the game, even when his team was trailing. Against a very resolute Blackburn defence, the Gunners could have benefitted if Arteta attempted more incisive passes.
Gervinho (off 70') - 5.0
A revelation for the Ivory Coast at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations, Gervinho was once again not at all inspiring for Arsenal. The forward was not only guilty of playing poorly timed passes to his team-mates but missed a glorious one-on-one opportunity that a player of his standard should have put away.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (off 70') - 7.0
A real threat to the Rovers defence when running at full speed, Oxlade-Chamberlain carved open the opposition defence with ease whenever he was on the ball. Unfortunately for Arsenal, the Englishman was not afforded sufficient support and his efforts came to naught most of the time.
Olivier Giroud - 6.5
The Frenchman was starved of service throughout the game despite Arsenal's dominance in possession. His team-mates were guilty of wayward crossing or desperate long-range attempts when they might have stood a better chance of breaking the deadlock by getting him involved in the game.
Jack Wilshere - 7.0
Arsenal's star midfielder did all he could in the limited time he was given to turn the tie around for his team. Unfortunately for Wilshere, the Gunners did not have the rub of the green as the midfielder's deliveries were either met by miscued shots or cleared away by an attentive Blackburn defence.
Theo Walcott - 6.5
The Englishman sprinted and dribbled his way down the flank, getting into the Rovers penalty area on a few occasions, but could not shrug off the determined opposition standing in front of Jake Kean's goal.
Santi Cazorla - 6.0
Although the midfielder managed to dance his way across the face of the penalty area, he could not fashion an open look at goal. The wall of Blackburn defenders stuck close to Cazorla, preventing him from exerting the creative influence Wenger's team required.
Jake Kean - 8.5
The Blackburn custodian must have knew what he was getting himself into for this game, as he turned in a fantastic display. Dealing with almost every cross, shot, header and counter-attack that Arsenal threw at him, Kean was undoubtedly his team's best performer.
Bradley Orr - 7.0
With Gervinho not presenting much of a threat down his flank, the Rovers full-back was able to tuck in and help out his central defenders with several vital clearances. Orr also demonstrated an appetite for attack by bombarding up to support Morten Gamst Pedersen when he was given the space.
Scott Dann - 6.5
Demonstrating bravery under pressure, Dann stuck out whatever body part was available to halt the endless stream of Arsenal balls sent into his penalty area. The centre-back kept a close watch on Giroud to ensure the Gunners front-man rarely got a direct sniff at goal.
Grant Hanley - 7.0
The Scottish player made clearing the ball his top priority in this game and he did so with ease. Hanley did struggle at times to match up to Rosicky's trickiness, but Blackburn fans will likely remember his wonderful last-ditch tackle to deny Gervinho an attempt on Kean's goal.
Martin Olsson - 6.5
The Rovers defender spent most of the game chasing Oxade-Chamberlain's shadow and could have found himself on the receiving end of a scolding from Michael Appleton had he not been involved in the build-up to Kazim-Richards' goal. Freed from the responsibilities of tracking Oxlade-Chamberlain after the Arsenal player's substitution, Olsson surged forward to take a shot on the volley and his attempt was put away slightly fortuitously by his team-mate.
Morten Gamst Pedersen - 5.5
A mainstay in this Blackburn side, Pedersen failed to shine in this fixture. The attacker's typically threatening set-piece deliveries were erratic and easily dealt with by the Arsenal defence.
Lee Williamson - 5.5
Going up against players blessed with more technical ability than he possessed, Williamson struggled to exert his influence in central midfield. The Rovers player did his best to close down Diaby and Arteta, but did not give them much of a fight in terms of his attempts to seize possession.
Jason Lowe - 6.0
The Englishman tried to stay close to the bevy of Arsenal midfielders that stood before him, but soon found that he was better off standing in front of his defenders to protect his goal-mouth. While Lowe will get no prizes for creativity, he worked tireless in the dying exchanges to keep the score-line to Blackburn's advantage.
Markus Olsson (off 63') - 6.5
The Swede was one of Blackburn's brighter attacking sparks during the early exchanges, often demonstrating smart movement to shake off Arsenal's marking. It was during one of his off-the-ball runs that Olsson came close to opening the scoring for Blackburn, as he shook off the attentions of Vermaelen to meet a Pedersen free kick, but could only send it into the side-netting.
Colin Kazim-Richards - 7.0
Although he was hardly in possession, the Rovers striker did his job of pressuring the Arsenal defence whenever they received the ball. His energetic display was duly rewarded when he tucked away Marcus Olsson's rebound.
Jordan Rhodes (off 82') - 6.5
Isolated upfront for most of the game, Rhodes did what he could to draw the Arsenal defenders away from Szczesny. The striker's display should satisfy Appleton as he chased every hoofed clearance that came his wayin hopes of turning the game Blackburn's way.
David Bentley (on 63') - 5.5
Booed on every touch he took, Bentley was hardly the revelation he used to be for Rovers, but will no doubt be overjoyed with victory against his former club.
David Goodwillie (on 82') - 6.0