Bolton Wanderers (2) – (3) Arsenal
Gallas (61′), Van Persie (66′), Jlloyd Samuel OG (90’+1)
The Reebok Stadium, Bolton
What a comeback.
I didn’t actually catch the match, but had to watch Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday and Bolton led after only 13 minutes with a header from Matthew Taylor. Diaby was then sent off after half an hour for serious foul play – did anyone manage to see what Diaby actually did?
So talk about up against it.
And just to really compound the misery, Taylor snatched another goal just before the break.
As every Arsenal fan knows luck hasn’t exactly been on our side over the last few weeks, and the looking at the half-time score you would think that with 10 men the game as a contest was over.
Try telling the players that.
The game was still 2-0 after an hour and Arsene decided to just go for it. Walcott came on for Senderos and Adebayor replaced Bendtner.
From then on the game was wide open.
Gallas scored just after the changes from a Cesc Fabregas corner, and Van Persie equalised with a penalty 6 minutes later after Alexander Hleb was fouled in the box by Tim Cahill.
At 2-2, the win was up for grabs and both teams seemingly went for the winner. But after managing to get two goals back Arsenal had the momentum and Cesc’s cross managed to creep into the net in injury time after Jlloyd Samuel’s attempt to clear.
On a soggy, wet pitch in Bolton and with 10 men for the vast majority of the match, Arsenal came from 2 goals down and won. Talk about character.
The result is so impressive for a number of reasons.
Arsenal have been written off for the Premier League title by many people (me included) but at the moment they sit 3 points behind Manchester United. Do I think we can still do it? Well if Arsenal can comeback from 2 goals down with only 10 men then this side are capable of doing something. They certainly suprised me anyway.
And currently form has been poor. So after 4 draws and a defeat you wouldn’t have high hopes of a win after trailing 2-0 at half-time. The team and Arsene deserve a hell of a lot of credit for the character shown to dig deep and get the 3 points. Especially against a Bolton side who are tough and know how to defend.
I’m still stunned.
There’s still fight in this Arsenal team yet and the nature of this result can only bode well for the Liverpool Trilogy coming up over the coming weeks.
You can see that the second from Taylor was particularly fortunate, taking a big deflection from Senderos and taking the ball away from Almunia. Another positive was that Hleb looked like he has found his form again.
And apologies for saying it was Tim Cahill, I think I was caught up in the drama!