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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
Arsenal close in on title
Fredrik Ljungberg fires Arsenal ahead, with Bolton's Kevin Nolan lugeing in vain to try and stop him
Fredrik Ljungberg fires Arsenal into the lead
Bolton 0-2 Arsenal
  Sports Talk: Arsenal for the Double?
  Photo Gallery: See this story in pictures

Arsenal comfortably beat Bolton at the Reebok Stadium to move within touching distance of the Premiership title.

Goals from Fredrik Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord capped a dominant performance by the visitors.

Arsene Wenger's side now need just two points from two games to win the Premiership.

That means that Manchester United must beat the Gunners on 8 May to have a chance of retaining the title.

  Key incidents
36 mins: Fredrik Ljungberg puts Arsenal ahead with his 16th goal of the season
44 mins: Sylvain Wiltord scores to put Arsenal in control
84 mins: Bolton's Kevin Nolan thumps a shot against the post

Arsenal's victory over a willing but limited Bolton side put Liverpool out of the championship race.

The visitors started with leading scorer Thierry Henry and England defender Sol Campbell - both had hamstring problems - on the bench.

Despite the absence of such an influential duo, the Gunners started brightly and Ljungberg could have scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes.

The Swede, who has been in such devastating form of late, fired over the crossbar from a Wiltord pass and then failed to get a firm enough touch to a clever ball over the top from Patrick Vieira.

Bolton failed to learn their lesson and Ljungberg put his side ahead in the 36th minute.


As confident as I am, we have got to keep our concentration up
Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss
Bergkamp collected the ball 20 yards out and flicked a clever ball through to the Swede, who fired a low shot in off the far post.

It was Ljungberg's 16th goal of an outstanding season and England will hope that his excellent form does not continue into the World Cup.

Arsenal's lead was doubled within eight minutes, with Bergkamp again the creator.

This time he played a defence-splitting pass to Wiltord and the Frenchman calmly slid the ball wide of Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to score.

Bolton, who were assured of their Premiership safety going into the game, continued to battle vainly and Kevin Nolan almost scored twice in the second half.


They showed tonight that they could step it up and open us up at will
Sam Allardyce
Bolton manager
First he found himself unmarked under a high ball at the far post, he but was too careful with his header, allowing David Seaman to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Minutes later he thumped a 20-yard shot againt the post after a clever lay-off from Youri Djorkaeff.

Yet Arsenal could have added another in the last few minutes when England defender Ashley Cole drove into the box and crashed a shot against the crossbar.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N'Gotty, Bergsson, Charlton, Barness, Frandsen, Nolan, Farrelly, Wallace, Bobic, Djorkaeff. Subs: Poole, Holdsworth, Ricketts, Johnson, Konstantinidis.

Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Keown, Adams, Cole, Ljungberg, Edu, Vieira, Parlour, Bergkamp, Wiltord. Subs: Dixon, Henry, Campbell, Wright, Kanu.

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"The Gunners are on the brink of the championship"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"Once again Freddie unlocked the door"
Arsenal defender Lee Dixon
"It was a big win for us tonight"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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