Arsenal 4-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 11, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton were reduced to ten-men for the second game in succession as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.

Laurent Koscielny gave the Gunners the lead at the Emirates Stadium on 24 minutes by tapping home from close range, but the sides went in level at the break after Johan Elmander headed home a Lee Chung-Yong cross on the stroke of half-time.

Marouane Chamakh restored the host's lead just before the hour, before Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card for a challenge on the Arsenal goalscorer just a few minutes later.

From that point on, the result was in no doubt and Arsenal cruised to victory thanks to further goals from Alex Song and Carlos Vela as Bolton's unbeaten start to the season came to an end.

Arsenal were quick out of the blocks and could have had the lead with multiple efforts inside the first five minutes.

First, Cesc Fabregas saw a shot blocked after he cut inside from the right, before Andrey Arshavin was closed down on the edge of the area by Wanderers goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

Tomas Rosicky was next to try his luck, but his strike flew over the crossbar as Bolton saw off the early pressure.

Against the run of play, the visitors then came close to breaking the deadlock and taking a shock lead when Fabrice Muamba's knockdown fell to Kevin Davies, but his shot on the turn was well saved by Manuel Almunia.

Then, on 24 minutes, the Arsene Wenger's side took the lead. Former Wanderer Jack Wilshere picked out the run of Fabregas and he squared the ball to Koscielny to tapped the ball past Bogdan at the second attempt.

Arsenal continued to press forward and test the Wanderers rookie goalkeeper, with Rosicky forcing a fine save with a low shot from distance, before Arshavin saw a shot hit the side netting after he managed to shrug off a challenge from Gretar Steinsson.

Despite all their pressing, Arsenal couldn't hold on to their lead and Wanderers were level just moments before the break.

A mistake from Koscielny allowed Chung-Yong to round Almunia and despite taking the ball wide of goal, he crossed for Elmander who rose highest to nod the ball into the empty net.

Owen Coyle's side almost took a shock lead soon after the restart but Stuart Holden was denied from close range, before Arsenal broke and would have taken the lead themselves had it not been for a fine save from Bogdan, preventing Chamakh from the edge of the area.

Bogdan was beaten just before the hour though, as Fabregas picked up the ball on the left flank and crossed for an unmarked Chamakh to head past the goalkeeper from six yards.

Then, there was controversy on 64 minutes as Cahill was shown a straight red card. After Chung-Yong appeared to be fouled on the edge of the Arsenal box, referee Stuart Attwell waved play-on and with the Gunners on the break, Cahill was shown his marching orders for a challenge on Chamakh, prompting a furious reaction from both the Wanderers players and dugout.

Moments after Cahill's dismissal, Paul Robinson looked fortunate to stay on the field himself after a poor challenge on Arsenal substitute Abou Diaby, who had to be replaced just moments later.

The game was over as a contest when Song scored Arsenal's third on 78 minutes. He gambled on a cutback from Arshavin and after beating off a challenge from Zat Knight, he cleverly chipped the ball beyond Bogdan from a narrow angle.

Then, when Arshavin played Vela in just five minutes later, he kept his composure and stroked the ball beyond Bogdan to add a fourth and complete the scoring.

Arsenal had claims for a penalty turned down late on as Emmanuel Eboue was brought down by Muamba, but it mattered not as the hosts ran out comfortable winners on a controversial afternoon at the Emirates.

Bolton return to action next weekend when they travel to Villa Park, without the services of Cahill and Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Koscielny, Squillaci, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere (Diaby 59 (Denilson 72)), Rosicky, Fabregas, Arshavin, Chamakh (Vela 80)
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Sagna, Nasri, Clichy
Booked: Gibbs, Eboue
Goals: Koscielny 24, Chamakh 58, Song 78, Vela 83

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Taylor 81), Muamba, Holden, Petrov (A O'Brien 66), K Davies, Elmander (Blake 81)
Subs Not Used: Lainton, M Davies, Klasnic, Ricketts
Booked: K Davies, Steinsson
Sent Off: Cahill
Goals: Elmander 44

Attendance: 59,876
Referee: Stuart Attwell

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
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