Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gunners news: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Arsenal

Gunners slip to seventh after fourth-straight game without a win

A lack of conviction in front of goal from Arsene Wenger's side sees their Champions League qualification hopes hindered

EPL: Bacary Sagna - Mark Davies, Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal

Arsenal have dented their chances of Champions League qualification as they slipped out of the top six in the Premier League following a goalless draw against Bolton on Wednesday evening.

Arsene Wenger's side spurned a host of chances to get in front, although they may consider themselves lucky to escape the Reebok with a point after Mark Davies appeared to be fouled twice in the box late on, first by Per Mertesacker and then by Wojciech Szczesny.

The draw has left Arsenal still searching for their first league win in 2012, while they have created a five-point gap behind Chelsea who sit in fourth. A point for Owen Coyle's side, meanwhile, sees them two clear of the relegation zone, while the Scot will be encouraged by the industrial performance of his midfield against Wenger's charges.

It was Arsenal who dominated the early moments of the match and the visitors created two good chances to go ahead in the first 10 minutes as Robin van Persie saw his header cleared off the line, while Aaron Ramsey's sliding effort failed to trouble Adam Bogdan.

David Ngog proceeded to show how much of a threat he could be to the Arsenal defence with two of his own efforts. His initial chance forced a commanding save from Szczesny after he turned Laurent Koscielny to open himself up to goal.

The Frenchman was not deterred and tried again after Gretar Steinsson raided down Bolton's right flank before setting up the striker, but his shot dribbled harmlessly wide.

Arsenal responded and enjoyed possession in Bolton's half for the majority of the half, but dogged defending from the hosts denied Wenger's men clear-cut chances on goal.

After the break, Arsenal came out fighting and continuously ambushed the Bolton defence with crosses and passes through the middle for the waiting Van Persie. However, the hosts remained resilient at the back to stifle Wenger's charges.

Van Persie finally had his next big chance of the game after being handed the ball just a yard out, but the Dutchman was left frustrated by his effort which hit the post and out of danger.

Bolton remained firm at the back to deny Arsenal, while Coyle's men had the chance to steal a point as Ngog's header from Martin Petrov's cross struck Koscielny, who had turned his back.



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