Gunners go top after beating Bolton

Arsenal stormed to the summit of the Premier League as they came from 2-0 down to beat Bolton 4-2 at the Emirates Stadium.Owen Coyle's men - beaten 2-0 by the Gunners on Sunday - took a shock lead after seven minutes through Gary Cahill and Matthew Taylor then doubled the advantage from the penalty spot.However, Arsene Wenger's young side showed the character of champions to rally before half-time through Tomas Rosicky's strike.Captain Cesc Fabregas netted a controversial equaliser on 52 minutes, and then Thomas Vermaelen completed the comeback.Andrey Arshavin netted a fourth to take the Gunners above Chelsea on goal difference, albeit having now played a match more - but nevertheless a scenario which looked so unlikely following a resounding 3-0 home defeat by the Blues at the end of November, which left Arsenal some 11 points adrift.The Gunners had since won six of the last eight league games to haul themselves back into the title race, and it was a bright start by the home side.After five minutes, Eduardo laid the ball back to Abou Diaby, but his low shot from the edge of the area was straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen.Arsenal had offered to pay the costs of those travelling Bolton supporters following the postponement of this fixture earlier this month.Only around 300 hardened Trotters had made the long journey south tonight, perhaps more in hope than expectation.But Coyle's side clearly had not read the script as they snatched a shock lead.Gael Clichy's attempted high clearance from a free-kick failed to make it out of the penalty area. Kevin Davies nodded it back into the six-yard box, where Cahill calmly dispatched his shot past Manuel Almunia.The Emirates Stadium was left in a stunned silence, apart from the small, but jubilant section in the far corner.Arsenal, though, slowly built some pressure.Fabregas forced Jaaskelainen to make a smart save after cutting into the left side of the area.Eduardo then stopped Diaby's long, cross-field pass with his first touch, before firing a 20-yard drive just over and Arshavin was also just off target.At the other end, Taylor fired in a free-kick and Almunia had to make a reaction save, low to his right.It got worse for the home side on 27 minutes when Denilson upended Lee Chung-yong, leaving referee Alan Wiley with little option but to point to the penalty spot.Taylor squeezed the ball inside the right-hand post via a touch from Almunia to leave Wenger's young side facing yet another test of their character.Despite barracking from the frustrated home fans, Arsenal remained patient.Bolton, though, continued to break up Arsenal's passing with a string of fouls.From a deep free-kick into the box, Kevin Davies flicked the ball backwards up onto the underside of the crossbar, and Jaaskelainen gathered.Arsenal pulled one back two minutes before the break.Fabregas won the ball in midfield, and slipped Rosicky away down the right channel.The Czech Republic midfielder set himself, before driving an angled shot past a static Jaaskelainen, the keeper beaten inside his near post.Arsenal continued to press at the start of the second half, and equalised in controversial fashion on 52 minutes.William Gallas appeared to catch Mark Davies on the ankle as the pair went for a 50/50 ball, but play was allowed to continue despite the Bolton protests as their man lay on the ground.Arshavin battled to the edge of the area, where possession broke to Fabregas and he charged into the box before slipping a low angled drive through the keeper's legs.There was a delay as Davies finally received treatment, and eventually had to be taken off on a stretcher, replaced by Gavin McCann.Arsenal continued to press, with Fabregas' 20-yard drive tipped over.The comeback was complete on 65 minutes as centre-back Vermaelen fired home after Diaby had knocked down a corner.Davies flashed a shot across the Arsenal goal as Bolton threatened to spoil things again.Arsenal, though, got the crucial fourth goal after 85 minutes, when Eduardo played in Arshavin, who made no mistake and could even afford to miss a one-on-one during stoppage time.

Leave a comment

© 2016 Arsenal News
Powered by Hotaru - A mabujo site.