Date: 26th November 2006 at 6:06pm
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Yet again Arsenal came to the Reebok Stadium and left empty handed. Apart from a 20 minute period after half time, Bolton more than matched them for quality and were by far their superiors in graft and determination.

The match was won by the only truly World Class player on the pitch – Nicolas Anelka who came back to haunt his former paymasters. Anelka’s two strikes, combined with his all round play, made him the stannd out player.

Sure, Arsenal hit the woodwork three times. So what? The size of the goals hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years or so. Hitting the woodwork is the same as missing.

The match started at a good tempo which seemed to contimue for the next 90 minutes or so. Walcott created a chance early on for Adebayor who could only hit the ball weakly towards the goal.

On 9 minutes, Bolton were in the lead. Faye’s powerful header was unstoppable. He’d lost his marker and Lehmann was blocked in by his own player who was trying to mark Kev Nolan.

A few minutes later, Eboue lost it and ran at Davies at full pelt.No contest! The lad went down clutching his face when Davies pushed him away. As Shearer correctly noted on MOTD, a yellow card and not a red was the right result.

The Arsenal players seemed to be determined to see something underhanded in every challenge but the truth was, they weren’t up for the game. They don’t like a physical challenge.

Diouf was running the game, a Senegalese thorn in the side of the Arsenal defence. Bolton’s defence was solid and Arsenal were feeding on scraps.

After Fortune went off injured, the move of the game resulted in the goal of the month. Faye won the ball on the right and passed the ball to Kev Davies. he floated a ball over to the left and the rest was pure Anelka. The defence backed off, Anelka looked up and hit an unstoppable shot past Lehmann.

It had taken a while but Anelka’s first goal was an absolute cracker.

With Bolton still celebrating, Arsenal kicked off. They forced a corner and from it, Silva nodded home.

For the first 20 minutes or so of the second half, it was all Arsenal. They pushed and prodded but couldn’t find a way past the resolute Bolton defence. Bolton too had their chances and only a great double save by Lehmann stopped Bolton from going 3-1 ahead.

Yet for all Arsenal’s possession, it was Bolton who scored again. The ball broke to Campo on the right who threaded an inch perfect ball around the Arsenal defence for Anelka to run on to. His finish was superb.

You wait for a while for an Anelka goal and then two come along at once!

Arsenal huffed and puffed a bit, Fabregas hit the top of the goal from distance but the game was won.

Unless Arsenal add steel to their game, they will always be vulnerable to a physical team. Not that Bolton were dirty – far from it. They were just up for a man’s game which most of the Arsenal side weren’t.

 

5 Replies to “Anelka exposes Arsenal”

  • “When I left Fenerbahce, I would have liked to join a big club. That’s not been possible”

    “It seems I have a difficult character. People who know me are aware I am not like that, but the reputation follows me around.

    “I would be with a big European club today without that. It is the only regret I can feel.

    “But I haven’t given up the idea of playing for a more highly-rated team one day.

    the words of le sulk.

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