Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal

  • September 20, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Arsenal came from a goal down to record a 3-1 win over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

Kevin Davies had given Bolton the lead inside the opening 15 minutes, but two goals in the space of a minute from Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner sent the Gunners in 2-1 up at the break.

Denilson completed the scoring late on as Arsene Wenger's side went to the top of the Premier League.

Wanderers skipper Kevin Nolan went close to giving Bolton a 3rd minute lead after spotting Manuel Almunia off his line, but the Arsenal goalkeeper recovered to tip the ball over for a corner.

Nolan also had a hand in the opening goal, forcing Almunia into a mistake which forced another corner, which provided Davies with his goal.

Joey O'Brien whipped the ball in from the left and Davies outjumped Kolo Toure to head into the far corner for his third goal of the season.

The goal sparked Arsenal into life and they were very unlucky not to draw level following efforts from Denilson and Toure.

The Gunners then hit the woodwork twice within the space of a minute, first through Emmanuel Adebayor after he beat the offside trap, before Alexandre Song also hit the post with a header.

Their persistant pressure paid off moments later as Emmanuel Eboue latched on to a pass from Nicklas Bendtner to slot past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Television replays showed the goal to be offside, but referee Steve Bennett allowed the goal to stand.

With the momentum firmly on the side of the visitors, they then went on to take the lead just 60 seconds later as Bendtner beat the challenge of Andy O'Brien to guide home Denilson's cross.

Almunia kept his side in front going into the break, making a smart reaction stop to prevent Nolan yet again.

Kevin Davies was booked for a challenge on Gael Clichy, despite appearing to take the ball cleanly. The Arsenal left-back was sent to hospital, with scans showing a bruised shin and not a broken leg as was initially feared.

Jaaskelainen kept Bolton in the game after the break, denying Song after he broke through the Wanderers defence, before Adebayor went close with a header.

Joey O'Brien tried his luck on the hour, but his low drilled effort went wide of Almunia's right-hand post.

Summer signing Mustapha Riga was next to try his luck, forcing Almunia into a fine stop with a difficult curling and dipping effort.

By pressing players forward for an equaliser, Bolton left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack, and Arsenal killed the game inside the final five minutes.

Substitute Theo Walcott beat Nolan before laying the ball out wide to Adebayor who played a dangerous ball across the six-yard box for Denilson to complete the scoring.

It was the least the Brazilian deserved after putting in a man-of-the-match performance and it helped send Wenger's side to the top of the table.

Walcott went close to adding a fourth in stoppage time but was denied by Jaaskelainen, meaning the game ended 3-1.

After a run of four league games without a win, Wanderers now lie 17th in the Premier League with the daunting trip to Manchester United next weekend.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Shittu, A O'Brien (McCann 61), Samuel, J O'Brien, Smolarek (Riga 56), Muamba (Vaz Te 81), Nolan, Gardner, Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Helguson, Cohen
Booked: Davies, Muamba
Goals: Davies 14

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy (Djourou 46), Eboue (Ramsey 85), Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Adebayor, Bendtner (Walcott 73)
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, van Persie, Vela, Gibbs
Booked: Fabregas, Song
Goals: Eboue 26, Bendtner 27, Denilson 87

Attendance: 22,694
Referee: Steve Bennett

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 32 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 33 31
21 Tranmere Rovers 31 23
22 Southend United 33 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 30 11
View Full Standings >>


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