Bolton Wanderers 1 Arsenal 3
Report of match 20th September 2008
Reporter Footymad Previewer
Match report for the away win in the evening clash with Bolton WanderersArsenal moved to the top of the Premier League table but only after being forced to come back from a goal down to beat Bolton Wanderers 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium.
It was the Gunners' eighth win in their last nine games in all competitions with only the defeat at Fulham spoiling their perfect recent record.
However, the visitors started sluggishly and Manuel Almunia had to be alert to tip Kevin Nolan's long-range drive over the bar. When Arsenal responded Emmanuel Adebayor saw his goalbound shot blocked by Andy O'Brien.
However, Gary Megson's side shocked their opponents in the 13th minute when Kevin Davies rose above Kolo Toure to head home O'Brien's corner.
The goal seemed to spur Wenger's side into action as they surged on to the attack almost immediately. Toure fired in a half-volley that whistled just past the post before Adebayor hit the woodwork after playing a delightful one-two with Nicklas Bendtner.
The Denmark international then had a shot deflected wide for a corner by Danny Shittu from which Alexandre Song headed against the post.
A goal had to come and it duly did in the 26th minute when Emmanuel Eboue ran on to Bendtner's throughball and fired past Jussi Jaaskelainen from close range.
Less than two minutes after Eboue's first goal in the Premier League, Arsenal were ahead. Denilson's fine cross from the left was turned home by Bendtner to end a scintillating ten minutes of football by the Gunners.
Bolton tried to hit back before half-time and Almunia had to produce a fine fingertip save to deny Kevin Nolan who also went close with a volley.
On the stroke of half-time Davies was fortunate not to be dismissed for a dreadful two-footed challenge on Gael Clichy that left the Arsenal defender in agony.
After the break Bolton substitute Mustapha Riga almost grabbed an equaliser with a 20-yard curling strike that Almunia tipped wide before an unmarked Gretar Steinsson should have done better from Ricardo Gardner's corner.
Arsenal defended resolutely and made the game safe with three minutes remaining when Theo Walcott and Adebayor created the opening for Denilson to side-foot the ball home.
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Date: Saturday, 20th September 2008 Kick off: 17:30 Venue: Burnden Way|
|1 - 3||Arsenal
Pereira Neves 87
|8||Joey O'Brien (McCann 61)||6|
|6||Fabrice Muamba (Vaz Te 81)||6|
|10||Ebi Smolarek (Mustapha 56)||5|
|26||Ali Al Habsi|
|19||Gavin McCann (O'Brien 61)||5|
|17||Riga Mustapha (Smolarek 56)||6|
|20||Ricardo Vaz Te (Muamba 81)|
|22||Gael Clichy (Djourou 46)||6|
|27||Emmanuel Eboué (Ramsey 85)||8|
|15||Denilson Pereira Neves||8|
|26||Nicklas Bendtner (Walcott 73)||8|
|20||Johan Djourou (Clichy 46)||6|
|16||Aaron Ramsey (Eboué 85)|
|14||Theo Walcott (Bendtner 73)|
|11||Robin van Persie|
|Bolton Wdrs. cards shown|
|45 mins||Kevin Davies||Unsporting behaviour|
|62 mins||Fabrice Muamba||Unsporting behaviour|
|Arsenal cards shown|
|76 mins||Alexandre Song||Unsporting behaviour|
|89 mins||Francesc Fábregas||Dissent|