Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Arsenal

  • January 17, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Owen Coyle began his managerial reign at Bolton in defeat as Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners at the Reebok Stadium.

Goals either side of the break from Cesc Fabregas and substitute Fran Merida gave Arsene Wenger's team all three points, meaning Wanderers remain in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Coyle must have thought he had got off to the perfect start when Ivan Klasnic had the ball in the net after two minutes, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

A smart move involving Kevin Davies, Gretar Steinsson and Klasnic resulted in Tamir Cohen shooting over from just outside the box soon after as Bolton pressed forward.

But, just as the top sides usually do, Arsenal took the lead with their first attempt of the game, against the run of play.

Fabregas received the ball just outside the area and after a neat one-two with Eduardo he shot low into Jussi Jaaskelainen's far corner.

Fabregas then turned provider four minutes later as his corner found an unmarked Craig Eastmond, but his volley was smartly stopped by Jaaskelainen.

The Gunners captain, at the centre of everything Arsenal, was again involved moments later. He went down under a challenge from Zat Knight only to see his appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Phil Dowd, just as he had done earlier after a challenge from Jaaskelainen.

Then, two minutes before the break, he had the chance to double the lead but somehow missed from less than six-yards after a superb cut back from Andrey Arshavin.

Bolton came back into the game after the restart and Cohen and Matt Taylor brought smart stops out of Manuel Almunia in the Arsenal goal.

He had to be alert again five minutes later as William Gallas deflected a Lee Chung-Yong cross goalwards, forcing a fine low stop out of the Gunners keeper.

Taylor then missed a great chance to bring Wanderers level. After Klasnic's pass had been blocked, his second attempt picked out Taylor who fired high over the crossbar.

But he was guilty of missing another guilt-edged opportunity on 70 minutes. Played through by substitute Gavin McCann, Taylor, with his back to goal, was clean through on goal but opted to shoot early instead of taking the ball closer to goal and ultimately missed the target.

Thomas Vermaelen sent a free-kick onto the roof of the net at the other end before the visitors wrapped up the points with 12 minutes to go.

Fabregas cut inside Steinsson down the Arsenal left and crossed to the far post for Merida to slide into the far corner.

The two sides will meet again on Wednesday when Wanderers make the trip down to the Emirates Stadium hoping to pull off an upset.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong, Muamba (McCann 61), Cohen (Gardner 80), Taylor, Klasnic (Elmander 80), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, M Davies, Ricketts, A O'Brien
Booked: Robinson

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore, Fabregas, Eastmond (Merida 63), Diaby, Rosicky (Clichy 74), Eduardo (Vela 84), Arshavin
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Silvestre, Coquelin, Emmanuel-Thomas
Booked: Rosicky, Vermaelen
Goals: Fabregas 28, Merida 78

Attendance: 23,893
Referee: Phil Dowd

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
6 Cambridge United 3 6
7 Derby County 3 6
8 Bolton Wanderers 3 5
9 Portsmouth 3 5
10 Accrington Stanley 3 5
View Full Standings >>


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