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"It was the winter holiday and I was back in Togo having a kickabout with friends when my phone rang.One of the boys answered it and said, 'Manu, it's Arsene for you'. 'Arsene who?' I said. 'Arsene Wenger', he said. 'Get out of it', I said, and grabbed the phone off him. But then I heard the voice. 'Allo'. F*****g hell. It is Arsene Wenger!"
-Emmanuel Adebayor

Match Report: Arsenal 1-1 Bolton, But Did We Deserve It?

15 minutes of magic by Arsenal. Too bad it was the final 15 minutes and we were already 1-0 down. You couldnt blame Bolton for being excited about playing Arsenal, they beat us in the league, and threw us out of The FA Cup. Big Sam probably told his players to bombard Arsenal with attacks from the start, and his players didnt disappoint.

Only 49 seconds into the game, and Kevin Nolan forced a good save out of Jens Lehmann. The resulting corner was met by Bruno N'Gotty who hit the bar wuth his header. At this point, you could see that Bolton were going to score. And they did, Kevin Nolan lobbed the ball over Jens Lehmann after good work from Hidetoshi Nakata and Jansen.

What followed, was the main talking point of the match. Faye made a horrible 2-footed tackle on Jose Antonio Reyes that left the Spaniard in pain. Faye was then given a booking. Reyes was stretchered and replaced by Robert Pires. Wenger said he was waiting for the X-ray results but "feared" the worst. Minutes later, Flamini made a similar tackle on Ricardo Gardner. Ricardo managed to swerve away from the tackle, the free-kick was given but no yellow card.

The second half was played mostly in the middle of the field, until Arsenal suddenly found a second, third and forth gear, blasting Jussi Jaaskelainen with shot after shot. Off target shots from Adebayor, Fabregas and Pires were among the few that were thrown at Bolton. Pires had his freekick fantasticly saved by Jaaskelainen, and minutes later forced him to make another from an excellent shot. Gilberto then had a powerful volley saved by Jaaskelainen and it looked more and more like it was not going to be Arsenal's day.

Then, out of nowhere, Pires crosses a ball from the right, finding the foot of Gilberto who managed to squeeze it past Jaaskelainen. 3 minutes into injury time and Arsenal were finally level. And Henry nearly got the winner for Arsenal in the final minute of added on time, wonderfully toe-poking the ball over Jaaskelainen's head, only for Gardner to head it off the line.

It was a bad performance from Arsenal, did they deserve the point? Judging by the second half, probably yes. Adebayor did not impress me one bit, he may have had good run but his shots and passes were like what we would see from Emile Heskey. Players who impressed me were Pires, Fabregas, Flamini and as always Lehmann who saved our defence again. Well, we really need to fix our problems, whatever it may be, or else we will be whipped by Real Madrid when we go to Spain.

posted by highbury1913 @ 11:57 am | |

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