Arsenal 4 – 2 Bolton, Post Match Analysis

It was a cold day in the journey to the ground yesterday and a long and arduous journey. The tubes decided to skip Arsenal station and of course Holloway Road (well for some selected trains, one of which I happened to be on)… but there was a certain buzz around the supporters – a certain feeling of excitement as everyone knew of course that if we did win and win by two clear goals, we’d reach the summit of the league for the first time since August.

You could hear the conversations – “Denilson should go straight back in… he’ll need the match practice – play Eastmond in the cup!” – “Arshavin should be rested, give Vela a chance”, “Walcott shouldn’t start – he’ll get battered by Bolton”. It’s  a part of match day that I love.

The team news was announced, exactly as we all thought – our first choice back five for the first time in a long time. Two of our first choice middle three in Cesc and Diaby and of course Denilson restored to the line up. Arshavin, Eduardo and Rosicky made up the rest. It was a strong line up. And it was all about this game, not worrying about the next.

Almunia

Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Denilson – Diaby

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin

Eduardo

We had Theo on the bench for the first time in ages, and Vela, and Eastmond and of course Traore if Clichy got tired. All guns blazing, time to get the game on…

But to my shock, could you believe it, within the first 10 mins, we were 1-0 down. A defensive mistake I would say and Cahill was free to score in the box. And then suddenly it was 2-0 to Bolton – Clichy failing to clear well, and Denilson bringing the man down. Almunia nearly got to it, but Taylor slotted it away from the spot.

We looked around at each other in a state of disbelief and so did the Arsenal players. But our captain marvel Cesc was calm and despite being fouled every 5 minutes for the whole game, he gave a lift to the team by his never give up attitude and with about 5 minutes to go, a moment of magic from our oldest outfield player in Rosicky – showing us what he’s made of and adding another goal to him impressive goal / minutes on the pitch ratio.

We all knew if we could get one back before half time, we could go on and win it! And that’s exactly what we did.

Five minutes into the second half and a bit of controversy as Gallas wins the ball illegally in midfield and then the ball bobbles to Cesc – the best player in the league at the moment – and he evades about three challenges before slotting the ball into the back of the net – from an incredibly tight angle.

The foul on Davies from Gallas was a foul, but the referee didn’t blow for it and we continued. We’re a pretty nice team when it comes to kicking the ball out, but Bolton had been time wasting so badly during the first half, that we honesty all thought it was another time wasting attempt – it turned out to be more serious, but there’s nothing we can do about that now.

At 2-2, you kind of knew there was only going to be one winner and our other ball playing centre half scored his seventh of the season. The ball bobbled around the Bolton area and Thomas Vermaelen was at hand to slot the ball home. Awesome stuff. At 3-2, the game was still to be played, Bolton could equalise and we wanted the 4th.

And there was one man at hand to give us the fourth, in our diminutive Russian, Andrei Arshavin, a nice bit of foot trickery and finish from close range. You sense we have a few players in Rosicky, Arshavin and Cesc who can score out of nothing.

At 4-2 we had chances to score, and it really should have been 5-2 if Arshavin had squared to the returning Walcott. All in all, a good day to be at the ground, a nervy one at that too.

We’re top of the league and we’ll stay there until midweek next week at least!

Bad news today too as it was confirmed that Gibbs is out for the rest of the season. He was doing so well, I just hope he recovers and can get back to his best.

Adios for now.

  • jeffvip

    Huntelaar is available for loan. I hope we can get him for the rest of the season as RVP will come back next season

  • goonerman

    man united play on saturday so if they beat hull they take top spot! anywya it feels good to be top of the league it must give the lads real confidence for what is actually the hardest string of games possible. Im really annoyed with this gallas buisness in normal time it looked like a fould but nothing worse and like arsene said did everton stop play when denilson went down last week ?? NO and also our players were all ahead of the ball and didnt notice that he had been hurt! people start saying gallas went for his anke but seriously why the hell would he want to break the mans ankle.
    so one miss timed tackle makes us the dirtiest team in the league?? according to the sun after last weeks game we were ranked the best behaved team in the league and i do remember a bolton player stuffing cesc’s head into the turf when he was clearly taken down for which should of been a penalty! today comes and the dirtiest players in the league come out and start calling gallas disgraceful maybe they should watch themselves in games they would be shocked lol! sorry for the rant but its like any chance people get they want to put us down and make us look like the bad guys! HOPEFULLY diaby recovers from his injury quickly and we will find out wether song stays in africa or comes home tonight im assuming they will get through though ! all in all GREAT COMEBACK :D

  • edison

    when arsenal battle like that, it gives you full firm belief that we can seriously challenge for the title.

  • Jeffo

    @ Yemi – here you go

    http://www.mightyfootball.com/?page_id=71

    They do all the highlights too, i use VettelTV its only a 3Mg download for the software and all free.

    I have never failed to find a game on here.

  • http://www.twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Gabon grab late consolation goal that makes the difference…and Cameroon v Tunisia has ended 2-2… so with those 3 teams all on 4 points, Cameroon n Zambia go thru on goals scored. C’roon n Zambia have scored 5 whilst Gabon has scored 2, in their 3 games. All 4 teams have a goal diff of 0. Song stays… Why Alex? Why?!?! :( Brilliant stuff from the Gunners last nite. Really love bein top of the table and hope Diaby is fit for Villa.

  • goonerman

    wenegr said diaby is definatley out for villa and hopes he might be back for man united! rosicky fabregas and denilson will have to be the midfield trio for villa

  • http://www.twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Damn…just heard it from Arsene, about Diaby. Well… Song needs to lose on Monday so we have him back for Wednesday v Villa! Ok…just joking…that’ll b too soon anyway. We’re looking a bit thin at CM. Diaby’s height and phsical presence may b badly missed against Villa. It meant a lot in the match against them @ the Emirates. He means a lot to us now. No doubt Fabregas-Diaby-Song is our best 3. But hey, we’ve got momentum…lacking balance a bit…but let’s hope we can get the job done anyway. And it starts with Stoke on the weekend!

  • http://www.twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    *physical presence

  • Nick

    agree with jeffvip. We should go after Huntelaar immediately!

    Physical presence could be had by Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid. It appears Spurs are after him. I’d rather he be a Gunner.

    Can’t wait to get Song back.