Zero goals, zero quality and zero degrees at the Reebok stadium as Gunners frozen out by Bolton
Bolton 0-0 Arsenal
How this game ended up scoreless will baffle pundits up and down the country all week, even though both sides created excellent opportunities to score; but a combination of lamentable forward play, and decent goalkeeping made sure the game stayed nil apiece.
The game started with both teams getting the ball to their wingers, attempting to stretch the midfield as much as possible, and in the process allowing the central players to dictate the pace.
Robin van Persie took the first corner of the game; but his low hooked effort was easily cleared by David Ngog.
It only took Arsenal eight minutes to register their first attempt with Van Persie evading his marker and attempting a header, but it failed to trouble Adam Bogdan in the Bolton nets.
As the game approached the fifteen minute mark, Arsenal started to move through the gears with Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Van Persie all creating half chances; but a combination of poor technique and positioning kept the game level.
David Ngog took advantage of an uncharacteristic Bolton long ball, but his poorly struck drive was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
Moments later, Arsenal’s shaky defence looked troubled by a Nigel Reo-Coker free kick, but when the header found Ngog; the Bolton striker’s shot skimmed the outside of Szczesny’s post.
The first half ended with a few more half chances, with neither side managing to break the deadlock, as it ended the same way it had started, 0-0.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first half, with a poor Robin van Persie corner easily cleared by David Wheater.
At the opposite end, David Wheater saw his header bobble past the upright.
On the hour mark, Robin van Persie manoeuvred his body in the box to create an opening, however, the resulting strike only managed to hit the outside of the post.
In the next passage of play, Aaron Ramsey saw his right-footed shot sail wide of the right-hand post.
With twenty minutes to go, Arsene Wenger decided to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Thierry Henry.
Minutes later, Van Persie almost had a moment of pure brilliance; after making some room on the edge of the box, his audacious chip had Bogdan beaten, but not the crossbar.
With only a few minutes to go, the slowest defender in the premier league, Per Mertersaker looked to have conceded a penalty with a clumsy foul on Kevin Davies; but the referee, Foy, awarded nothing.
The game petered out and both sides ended up with a point, Bolton will be aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty in the final moments, but, the visitors will feel that there were 2 points dropped after creating numerous opportunities to score.
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