The ingredients were there. Arsene Wenger had just been named Manager Of The Month, and Bolton were in miserable form, and now managerless. Usually this is the recipe for an upset. But this was not to be. Arsenal are on a mission, and that mission is to bring the first title to Ashburton Grove. This is a game we would have either lost or drawn last season, but grinding out results is what Champions are made of. Maybe it is a little early in the season to be talking of winning the league, but the determination among the players certainly makes one sit up and take notice.
This was a game of under 60,000 thanks largely to Bolton not selling their allocation, so could well go down as the lowest attendance at Ashburton Grove. But it matters not, as those who did attend were served up a treat of great finishing, a thunderbolt strike and some of the sweetest, crisp passing in football.
Bolton held out until the 68th minute at 0-0, and that worry of whether we could score was starting to creep in. Wenger himself must have had the same thought only minutes earlier, as he decided to bring on some fresh legs in the shape of Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky. The game turned from there, and for the final thirty minutes the supporters were entertained by sheer class and brilliance. Kolo Toure opened the scoring from a free kick, hit with such pace that no one could get near it. Arsenal dominated, and pushed and pushed for number two, which came courtesy of a mazy little run from Theo Walcott, and an esquisite finish from Tomas Rosicky. Walcotts pace and close control was rewarded. Rosicky had made up quite a distance, and read what was about to happen, and arrived on cue to poke the ball past the keeper. 2-0 and game over.
Arsenal retain top spot in the Premiership table, two points ahead of Manchester United, and importantly with a game in hand. Next up is Liverpool, after The Champions League on Tuesday. Arsenal need to keep up this team spirit, and take one step closer to landing the prize.
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