Gunners Move To 2nd In The Premier League

Arsenal moved second in the Premier League after crushing 10-man Bolton Wanderers 4-1 at the Emirates.
Gunners defender Laurent Koscielny opened the scoring with his first goal for the club, but he was at fault when Johan Elmander equalised against the run of play.
Marouane Chamakh (pictured) headed the Gunners in front on 58 minutes before the turning point came when Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card soon afterwards.
Bolton were very much still in the contest before that point but Arsenal were able to pull away as Alexandre Song added a third and Carlos Vela – with his first touch – rounded off the scoring.
The North London side move two points ahead of Manchester United after they drew at Everton, but are still two points behind Chelsea, who beat West Ham to maintain their 100 per cent record this season.
Arsenal dominated possession and created more chances, but Bolton looked dangerous on the counter attack against a shaky home defence that was without rested France pair Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy and Belgium centre-half Thomas Vermaelen.
Stand-in Trotters goalkeeper Adam Bogdan – replacing the suspended Jussi Jaaskelainen – was called into early action, saving well with his legs after a delicious pass from Tomas Rosicky sent Andrei Arshavin clean through, while Gretar Steinsson was fortunate to escape scot-free when he slid into Arshavin in the area.
The Gunners took a deserved lead on 24 minutes but it was an atypical goal for them, indeed more reminiscent of Bolton as Koscielny bundled the ball in off Bodgan after Jack Wilshere’s high ball was knocked down by Cesc Fabregas.
Bodgan made more good stops, from low finishes by Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas after crisp passing from the home side tore holes in the Bolton defence.
They were denied another goal when Arshavin raced clean through on 41 minutes but he was first denied by an excellent saving challenge by Steinsson and, when he bounced up on to the loose ball, clever keeping by Bogdan, who closed the angle and forced the Russian to shoot into the side netting.
But, late in the first half, Bolton were the next to score.
The warning signs were there: Koscielny may have netted but, as early as the 12th minute, his mistake allowed Kevin Davies to shoot from close range, with Manuel Almunia able to save.
And it was the Frenchman who was at fault for the equaliser, sending Lee Chung-yong through with a poor defensive header, with the Korean able to pick Elmander out for a simple far-post header.
Bolton seemed to be rejuvenated by the goal, with Arsenal coming out for the second half looking a touch nervy, forced to withstand a largely aerial assault from the Trotters.
They almost took the lead too as Stuart Holden’s low finish from Lee’s driven cross was parried by Almunia, with Arsenal countering to win a corner as Bogdan pulled out a stunning stop to deny Chamakh.
But from that corner the home side retook the lead. Fabregas’s initial delivery was poor but Arshavin picked up the clearance and slipped the Spaniard through on the left: his cross, echoing that of Lee earlier, was inch-perfect for Chamakh to power the header past the flailing Bodgan.
A previously exciting match took a sour turn soon afterwards though.
Fresh from debuting for England, Bolton defender Gary Cahill was somewhat harshly shown a 63rd-minute red card for a fractionally late tackle on Chamakh.
Both sets of players seemed surprised at Stuart Attwell’s decision, which was a touch inconsistent given far worse challenges from Davies and – in the seconds building up to the dismissal – Steinsson on Arshavin.
Indeed, not long after Cahill walked, Paul Robinson made a poor challenge on Abou Diaby, who had only just come on for Wilshere but had to leave the pitch after trying in vain to play on – Arsenal reacted badly to the tackle but Attwelll did not even give them a free-kick.
The match was over as a contest, with the Gunners cutting Bolton open at will.
Song made it 3-1 on 78 minutes, combining with Arshavin before turning past a wooden Zat Knight and clipping a cool finish over Bogdan.
Vela, who came on moments later, completed the rout with a crisp finish into the bottom left after substitute defender Andy O’Brien failed to step up for offside.

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