Bolton 1-3 Arsenal – 14/02/07 – (FA Cup) 15 February, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Cup Games.
It was a strange team that started with Gilberto captaining the side from centre back and Djourou filling in at right back. The busy schedule is really harming us but if we lost last night we would’ve had a well deserved break. Thankfully, we’re still in the FA Cup and will play Blackburn at 12.30 on Saturday. I was wondering how we’d do with this weakened side against the team that put 3 past us last time we were there. However Adebayor scored an early goal in the 13th minute to give us some confidence. Hleb and Denilson made some great little touches out on the right wing; it was beautiful, one-touch Arsenal football around the Bolton players. To ball came to Rosicky outside the box who tried to square it to Baptista ho would’ve been one-on-one. The ball was cut out by a defender but Adebayor was following up and tried his luck taking a shot at goal. It took a wicked deflection off Stelios and looped over Jaaskelainen’s reach making it one nil to the Arsenal. The credit for that goal must go to Denilson who was just brilliant in the build up.
We had quite a few chances and out quick movement on the break was really causing Bolton some troubles. Bolton were lucky just to be one nil down but they did have some chances of their own. Gilberto and Toure were great at the back dealing with everything thrown at them rarely forcing Almunia into action.
We nearly made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute when we were awarded a penalty. Baptista drove into the box and was brought down by Ben Haim. Gilberto stepped up to take it but blasted it way over the bar, nowhere near the target. Before the penalty I was thinking we should be at least 2 goals ahead so I thought the captain would step up and make things right. About ten minutes later Hleb came off for Ljungberg, both players just returning from injury and both players putting in great performances.
When the board went up for 3 minutes of injury time. I thought we were safe and going through but we lazily conceded a corner. Jaaskelainen and everyone came up for it, overloading the box and the Arsenal defenders couldn’t cope, in the end Meite squeezed it in at it was 1-1 with the game going to extra time. I couldn’t fucking believe it, it should’ve been about 3-0 by now but somehow we messed it up and it’s all even. Aliadiere replaced an excellent, but tired Rosicky to maybe try and nick a goal before the end but it wasn’t to be.
Justin Hoyte came on for Djourou at right back who had a great game there, as did other players who were out of position last night. Right at the begging of extra time Bolton nearly scored and hit the post, I just held my head in my hands just as I did when Heskey hit the post on Saturday. Bolton were on top for start of extra time, we’d been going at them all game and I think the players were feeling it. That was Bolton’s last chance though and when Freddie scored just before half time it was all over. Aliadiere picked up the ball in our half and made a great run down the left side of the field and finished it with a great ball to Ljungberg who scored with a great finish right into the far corner passed the ‘keeper. 2-1 now and it was another beautifully worked Arsenal goal.
The second half of extra time was quite strange, Arsenal were by far the better team and came so close to scoring on the counter attacking with Bolton pushing all their men forward. Arsenal got away with Adebayor charging towards an open goal with Jaaskelainen sprinting back to his box. Baptista was open in the middle but the pressure from Anelka chasing didn’t allow Ade the space to pass. In the end Anelka brought Adebayor down in he box and I don’t understand why he wasn’t show the red. It was a tackled from behind in the area as the last man with an open goal. He only got a yellow for it and another Brazilian Baptista blasted the ball over the bar from the spot again, I couldn’t believe it. Late in the game Bolton got another corner but the ‘keeper stayed in goal for this one as Baptista and Adebayor were waiting on the halfway line. Ljungberg won the corner and hoofed the ball up field with Baptista charging at the ‘keeper with Ade there for the pass. The Beast simply squared to Ade when he got up to Jaaskelainen and it was a simple tap in for 3-1.
It was a dramatic night with so many twists and turns. Also Tal Ben Haim got a second yellow late in extra time but Bolton were playing like they had 10 men anyway. Well done if you sat through all of that last night. Thanks to that win the next game is against Blackburn in two days time, build up to that to come. See ya.