I’m at the game so another match day blog from moi.
Bolton were the visitors to The Emirates in the Carling Cup. As always Arsenal rang out the changes giving a few reserves and youth players a chance plus a certain Belgian defender a chance to gain further fitness after his Achilles injury.
Bolton have been struggling horribly in the league but this was still an all premiership tie we had to be wary of.
On the way to the Tollington pub and talk in the press and between fans had been about the recent race allegations from John Terry, Suarez and even Cesc, following Kanoute’s sending off over the weekend. The fact is racism and xenaphobia has NO place in modern football but with the internet/twitter a dangerous vehicle for rumours and opinions, a small accusation or apparent lip read can quickly escalate into a major story. The Terry story is being esculated by the minute with The FA set to launch an enquiry, it could be an interesting few weeks for all the clubs involved.
The team for last night was;
v Bolton: Fabianski, Yennaris, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Park.
TV5 is back! A debut for Yennaris and another chance to see the Ox in action.
We’re off and running… Come on The Arsenal!
5mins gone; Good atmosphere, Bolton have fielded a strong team.
10min ; Arsenal controlling the game, Ox has a pop shot that deflects for a corner.
13mins: A great crossfield ball from Frimpong, Ox breaks wide into the box but one touch too many and cross is over hit.
25mins: As Bolton grow into the game, Park picks the ball up and fires in a great shot saved by the keeper.
26mins; Bolton’s Kakuta breaks free, swivels in the box and has a shot saved low by Fabianski.
28mins; Squillaci booked for another silly foul. Games a bit flat now, Bolton happy for us to present them with their chances, I’m sure we will too.
35min, Shava touches a free kick to TV who stings the keeps gloves with a beauty of a shot.
Ps; the raining is falling but the winter hip flask is out. (Drink responsibly kids)
40min, Shava feeds a sideways pass to Park who tries to pass it into the net from the edge of the box but saved again by the keeper. Park is warming up and he’s not afraid to shoot…
Half time, Arsenal ahead on points but goals win games.
47min: FFS! Wakey wakey Arsenal…. 1-0 Bolton. They walk straight through after Frimpong gives it away and ex-gooner Muamba fires it into the roof of the net from a short pass in the box. Sloppy
55mins … They’re awake!… Arsenal 1-1 Bolton.. Yossi knocks it to shava on the right of the box. Shava jinks right left and then arrows it into the opposite bottom corner, keeper static. A great shot from Shava, that’s more like it
58mins – I can’t keep up! Arsenal 2-1 Bolton.. Shava again breaks through the middle and feeds Park on the left who curls a beauty into the top corner… Henry is that you???! A top goal, I told you earlier he was warming up.
60mins… The ref floors Shava! Seriously, he needs treatment!
65mins: Arsenal doing well now, Bolton bit shocked at being at 2-1 down so quickly. Confidence is on Arsenal’s side.
70mins: Ox who’s not been subdued, battles through but shot is blocked twice.
73mins – Fabianski keeps out a free kick at the near post. Pressure from Bolton is still there. Arsenal need to hold strong here.
76mins – Ryo on for Ox.
78 – Fabianski makes a couples of good saves. The first one on one and the other from a scramble after a corner. Big ten mins ahead.
85mins – TV5 makes way for Daniel Boatang. A good 85mins for TV5, won some aerial duals, one fantastic 50 50 he had no right to win and was organising the inexperienced players around him.
86min – Bolton player skies it high high over the goal from 6 yards out, a lucky escape.
90mins – Fantastic! Ryo jumps in to tackle a goal bound shot for a corner. Cahil rises high but puts it over the goal.
Game over. Arsenal into the 5th round of the Carling Cup.
A great win for Arsenal, a vastly inexperienced team played pretty much a Bolton first team tonight. A prime example of the spirit on display was Miquel, who played out of position at left back but was determined not to let the team down. Coquelin, Frimpong and the Ox didn’t star as maybe the fans wanted them too but again they were playing experienced players compared to those at Shrewsbury.
In the end the more experienced players stepped up in the 2nd half when we were a goal down. Shava was fantastic for 30mins, a constant menace resulting in a goal and an assist. Not even the referee couldn’t keep him down! Yossi battled away and has the fantastic knack of holding onto the ball until the right moment, he is also a calming influence on the players around him.
The one who stood out for me was Park. Only his 2nd start but a drastic improvement from when I saw him against Shrewsbury. Wenger talked about him almost being ready before the game and that was apparent last night. He seemed a lot fitter and sharper with a real eye for goal. He ghost’s into spaces and isn’t afraid to shoot. I’ve described his goal as Henry-esque and it truly was, running on the ball with a right foot curler into the top corner. I’d reward him with a start against Marseille.
Last word is for the over 50k strong crowd in attendance. They provided a great atmosphere and really got behind the team. Given it’s half term this week, it was fantastic to see so many young excited Gooners in attendance, I’m glad you all got the result you wanted and a couple of cracking goals.
Up the Arsenal!!
Till next time.
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