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Match Report


Posted Tue 25 Oct 11 at 22:31 PM

Report: Arsenal 2 Wanderers 1

Wanderers were extremely unfortunate to exit the Carling Cup at the fourth round stage at the hands of Arsenal, despite dominating the game for large parts at the Emirates Stadium.

In a role reversal of the league clash between the two sides earlier in the season, the Trotters took the lead through former Gunner Fabrice Muamba immediately after the half time restart.

But two Arsenal goals in the space of three minutes from Andrey Arshavin and Ju-Young Park saw the hosts gain the lead very much against the run of play.

Owen Coyle's side continued to dominate, thoroughly impressing throughout the duration of the second period carving out a numerous of chances. However the ball just wouldn't go in the net despite the best attempts of Ivan Klasnic, Gary Cahill and Chris Eagles late in the game.

Tuncay Sanli

Coyle rang the changes, with nine new faces coming into the starting line-up following the defeat against Sunderland just three days earlier.

Players coming into the side included the likes of Mark Davies, Tuncay, Klasnic, Gretar Steinsson, Gael Kakuta and former Gunner Muamba; all established first teamers eager to stake their claim for a regular starting berth in the side.

The opening 20 minutes or so was bereft of any real attempts on either goal. Arsenal enjoyed the lion's share in possession, but Wanderers' organisation and endeavour provided a stern and steady foundation on which Coyle's charges could build.

Another former Gunner, Darren Pratley, mustered the game's first effort on goal. The former Swansea man dispossessed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the edge of the area before unleashing an effort the forced Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski into a smart reflex save.

Arsene Wenger's men continued to probe the Bolton rearguard, as the rain began to tumble from the night sky in capital. Korean international Ju-Young hit a speculative effort from distance that Bogdan fisted away, before Yossi Benayoun jinked his way infield from the byline before bending an effort inches wide of the far post.

With the interval rapidly approaching, Bogdan again had to be alert to fling himself to his right to beat away rasping free-kick from Thomas Vermaelen, before moments later reacting well to palm away Ju-Young's effort from the edge of the area.

As referee Anthony Taylor brought the opening 45 to a close, a solid start to the second period was paramount.

And Coyle's side obliged, racing out of the traps to take the lead. Muamba was the goalscorer, thumping the ball into the roof of the net from just inside the Arsenal penalty area following a neat one-two with Pratley. Muamba had set the move in motion following a superbly timed challenge on Emmanuel Frimpong.

An air of anxiety fell over the Emirates, and few could argue with the scoreline.

Whilst Wanderers' lead was merited, it lasted all of six minutes as Arsenal drew level with a goal out of nothing. Arshavin found ample space on the angle of the penalty area, and stabbed an effort goalward that somehow squirmed through the legs of Zat Knight and into Bogdan's far corner.

Before the Whites had chance to gather themselves, the home side were in front. Arshavin again found space, and when racing towards goal drew a number of Bolton defenders in before releasing Ju-Young at just the right time. The Korean steadied himself, before opening his body and bending an effort into the far corner.

Coyle immediately sprang into action and introduced a striker for a midfielder, as David Ngog took the place of Pratley.

And Ngog was at the hub of a move that almost saw Wanderers draw level. Tuncay cut the ball back from the left byline, before the former Liverpool man teed up the onrushing Mark Davies who could only shank an effort wide of Fabianski's goal.

The Whites continued to press and were almost level when another substitute, Eagles, unleashed a swirling effort from all of 30 yards that slipped through Fabianski's grasp and looped onto the roof of the net.

Wanderers were very much in the ascendancy and were again unlucky not to equalise when Fabianski first denied Klasnic with his left shoulder when the Croatian was in on goal, before then getting down well to turn away Cahill's header from a corner.

Cahill again forced a smart save from the Arsenal stopper following an effort on the turn, but for the Whites' effort and determination, it just wasn't to be their day.

Few could have argued with a Bolton equaliser, but unfortunately it didn't arrive. Instead Wanderers' attentions can now turn to league combat and the imminent trip to Swansea City.

Arsenal: Fabianski, Vermaelen (Boateng 84), Ju-Young, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Miyaichi 73), Squillaci, Arshavin, Frimpong (Ozyakup 76), Benayoun, Coquelin, Miquel, Yennaris (Unused substitutes: Mannone, Aneke, Meade, Watt)

Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Gardner, Muamba, Pratley (Ngog 61), M Davies, Kakuta (Eagles 71), Tuncay (Blake 85), Klasnic (Unused substitutes: Jaaskelainen, Reo-Coker, Wheater, Riley)

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