PREMIER LEAGUE: Bolton force draw dropping Arsenal to seventh

Bolton Wanderers have held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Reebok Stadium to make it just the second time in the last 12 outings that they have not been beaten by the North Londoners.

Owen Coyle’s Trotters grabbed a valuable point as they look to work their way clear of the relegation zone whilst Arsene Wenger’s Gunners missed a great chance to get closer to the top four as they slipped down to seventh.

There were few clear chances throughout the 90 minutes with the earliest coming to Robin van Persie whose ninth minute header was cleared off the line by David Wheater three minutes before the Arsenal captain made a nice run before squaring for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain whose sliding attempt flew wide.

The 23rd minute saw Bolton’s David Wheater produc a clever flick-on for David Ngog who was unable to squeeze his shot in past Wojceich Szczesny with the ball dribbling inches to the left of the Pole’s right-hand upright.

Not long after, Theo Walcott was slipped through by Oxlade-Chamberlain and had a one-on-one with Trotters keeper Adam Bogdan who was able to deflect the winger’s shot wide of the mark in what was the best chance of the match.

Martin Petrov supplied a tasty cross for Ngog with just under 20 minutes left but the Frenchman’s header was well-blocked by Laurent Koscielny when anything on target may have troubled Szczesny who could have been in trouble later.

In the 80th minute, Arsenal deserved a goal when van Persie turned his marker on the edge of the area before pulling out an audacious right-footed chip which left Bogdan at bay but could not sneak under the crossbar before Walcott blasted his volley wide after the deflection off the woodwork was played back in.

Szczesny’s let-off came with two minutes left when Bolton were so close to forcing a late winner. Mark Davies made his way through the Arsenal defence and appeared to be brought down by Szczesny, who had advanced off his line, but referee Chris Foy waved away any protests.

Arsenal have now taken just one point from their past three matches away from the Emirates as Bolton made it two unbeaten for the second time this year.

TRIBAL ASKS: Arsenal’s title chances are now gone you would think. Can Wenger get the most out of his inconsistent players to force a top-five finish? On the other hand, has Coyle got enough steely resolve in his squad to avoid the drop?

Bolton Wanderers: 0
Arsenal: 0

Reebok Stadium, Bolton – 24,371

Yellow cards: BOL - Gretar Steinsson 39’
ARS - Thomas Vermaelen 38’

 

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