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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 October 2007, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Arsenal 2-0 Bolton
By Ian Hughes

Kolo Toure
Toure scored his first goal of the season
Arsenal overcame managerless Bolton to maintain their 100% home record and stay top of the Premier League table.

For long spells Arsenal were frustrated by Bolton's bruising tactics, with two off-target Emmanuel Adebayor headers their best efforts in the first half.

After the break, Emmanuel Eboue smashed a shot over when he should have scored.

But Kolo Toure struck from 25 yards on 68 minutes and Tomas Rosicky tapped in from fellow substitute Theo Walcott's cross to end Bolton's resistance.

Bolton started the match second from bottom in the Premier League and with Archie Knox temporarily at the helm, following the departure of boss Sammy Lee in the week.

And it was clear that the visitors were keen to arrest their slide by any means possible - stretching the rules of engagement at times as they clattered into challenges.

After Gavin McCann's heavy tackle on Bacary Sagna, for which he was cautioned, tempers flared between Cesc Fabregas and El-Hadji Diouf and they had their names taken too.

A clearly irritated Fabregas then caught Ivan Campo, while Diouf was close to collecting a second caution after a couple of misdemeanours and plenty of vocal exchanges with the referee.

Arsenal were playing into Bolton's hands - the more time they spent reacting to perceived injustices, the less they threatened to score.

Striker Eduardo da Silva, playing because of the knee injury suffered by Robin van Persie playing for Holland during the week, made little impact and his strike partner Adebayor looked less than convincing with two headed chances.

Of Arsenal's other attempts, William Gallas shot over from 10 yards and Eduardo screwed an effort wildly off target - however, that was still more then Bolton managed in the opening 45 minutes.

Whether Bolton would have attacked more had Nicolas Anelka been fit is unlikely, as they spent the majority of the game with 10 men behind the ball.


Immediately after the interval Eboue should have changed the pattern of the game but he blasted high and wide from close range after McCann had gifted him the chance.

However, it served to lift Arsenal and, with left-back Gael Clichy rampaging on the overlap, they began to cause Bolton problems.

Fabregas drove into the arms of Jussi Jaaskelainen before an Eduardo cross created panic in the box and Bolton's defence started to look vulnerable.

A sliced Adebayor shot fizzed high and wide and soon afterwards the Togo striker smashed another effort past the upright.

On came Rosicky and Walcott and Arsenal poured forward with greater urgency.

Then on 68 minutes, Arsenal got the goal they had been desperately seeking when Toure drove in after Fabregas rolled the ball back to him from a free-kick.

Adebayor had a chance to put the game beyond doubt when he ran on to a through ball but took it too wide round the keeper and lost his footing.

But on 80 minutes Walcott's wing trickery presented Rosicky with the easiest chance and the Czech international duly converted.

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
    "For long spells Bolton were intelligent and resilient. They are experienced and have quality.

    "We were patient and it was important not to get nervous. At times the game was hectic and I didn't want us to pick up any red cards.

    "We needed to stay calm and keep the tempo high. I felt we built on that and were outstanding in the game."

  • Bolton caretaker boss Archie Knox:
    "We gave a great account of ourselves until 70 minutes and then we conceded a goal that we could have avoided and made it hard for ourselves.

    "We had to give ourselves something to hang on to. But when you lose a goal, it is tailor made for Arsenal.

    "We just didn't have quite enough to get anything out of the game."

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Rosicky 62), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb (Diaby 89), Eduardo (Walcott 62), Adebayor.
    Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Silva.

    Booked: Fabregas.

    Goals: Toure 68, Rosicky 80.

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Joey O'Brien, Meite, Andrew O'Brien, Gardner, Nolan, Campo, McCann, Guthrie (Giannakopoulos 77), Diouf (Braaten 68), Davies.
    Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Cid.

    Booked: McCann, Diouf, Nolan, Davies, Campo.

    Att: 59,442

    Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

    Live - Premier League
    20 Oct 07 |  Premier League
    Saturday's football photos
    20 Oct 07 |  Football


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