Arsenal 1-0 Bolton: Match Analysis + Stats

Bolton Wanderers parked the proverbial bus in front of their goal for the bulk of the match and when it looked like the Trotters may hang on, Nicklas Bendtner arrived at the far post on 84 minutes to give Arsenal the win.
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Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner (centre) scores the opening goal

Arsene Wenger handed the armband to Kolo Toure but the big news before the game had kicked off was that Bolton had only named four substitutes on the bench due to injury and suspension. Even without their influential men Bolton remained true to their game plan, looking to frustrate and deny space and attack through the long ball. However the Trotters were non existent as an attacking threat and the five minutes after half time and before the final whistle, their only spell of attacking pressure.

For Arsenal they were finding no way through. A decent start to the game petered out to tedium as both teams tired physically and mentally.

The lack of natural wide men and the ability to take on the full backs meant Arsenal had one way to play and that was to pass the ball. They were given no real space and playing such a passing game suited Bolton. With the back line so deep it lessened even more the opportunity to run at the full backs and implement the movement that would have overwhelmed the opposition.

Robin Van Persie continued on his rich vein of form and was Arsenal’s most dangerous player. He continuously looked to find a way through the defence whether by his movement, creativity and shooting. He had the best chance of the first half; a quick control and shot went narrowly over.

Emmanuel Adebayor was sent through in the second half only to be denied by O’Brien as the Togolese man dallied in front of goal. The frontman was having a frustrating day with nothing really paying off for him and Arsenal. His delightful flick did find Van Persie however, the Dutchman squeezing the ball out of his feet and agonisingly shooting at the post. Kolo Toure tested Jaaskelelainen with a 40 yard drive but Wenger sensing things couldn’t continue the way it was going brought on Vela and eventually goalscorer Bendtner.

The Mexican’s introduction reaffirming the lack of creativity at the moment and width. His presence stretched the game slightly and the goal finally came as Bendtner slid in at the back post from Van Persie’s low cross across goal. Arsenal triumphant and will also be relieved as such a game was not unexpected from Bolton.

A few notes on the Arsenal players on the game: Kolo Toure and Johan Djourou had good games, their mobility looked ever priceless as Arsenal had to play a high line and alert on the counter. Diaby’s passing was below par and was rightly subbed while Denilson is lookng more astute in his role but needs to be more assertive and wanting of the ball. Gael Clichy looked composed on the ball when attacking almost like a midfielder at times while Bendtner made some positive running without real conviction also with his passes.

Arsenal: Almunia (7), Sagna (7), Toure (7), Djourou yellow card (7), Clichy (7), Eboue (6) [74 Bendtner (7)], Diaby (5) [(64 Vela (6)], Denilson (6), Nasri (6), Adebayor (5) [88 Ramsey yellow card (6)], Van Persie (8)*
Subs: Fabianski, Wilshere, Bischoff, Gibbs.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Basham, Shittu, Andrew O’Brien, Samuel, Taylor, Muamba, McCann yellow card , Gardner, Elmander [39 Riga yellow card > off for Obadeyi], Davies.
Subs: Bogdan, Fojut
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

76.5% Possession 23.5%
19 Shots 2
5 Shots on target 2
2 Saves 4
5 Corners 0
16 Fouls 15
3 Offsides 3
2 Yellow cards 2
0 Red cards 0
16 Tackles 24
605 Accurate passes 129
149 Bad passes 25
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5 thoughts on “Arsenal 1-0 Bolton: Match Analysis + Stats

  1. 76.5% possession really does sum it up, Bolton had one good chance..
    Not the most exciting match I have ever seen, and sub-zero conditions made it a little uncomfortable!
    I’d agree with your ratings of all the players, Djourou and Toure put a good case to be paired together more often in future.
    I think Vela also showed he can influence a game, and Bendtner got a much needed goal to silence the critics.
    RVP at the moment is a canditate for player of the season I think!

  2. The lack of creativity from Diaby and Denilson was so evident in the match. They were passing only sidewards and hardly took the game forward.I think Nasri had a goog last few minutes when he shifted to the center. In the absence of Fabregas ,he , should ideally play in the center. The through ball to Adebayor was magnificent.I think ADebayor ,of all people, was most surprised at receiveing that pass.Aaron Ramsey even though he came on for a few minutes showed some glimpses of good control.More than that he showed the willingness to win the ball. That which seriously lacked in Diaby. I hope Wenger will keep Nasri in the center and Vela on the left for the next match. If Arshavin does come in ….i wonder where he will fit in .

  3. The team looks more and more solid with each game,it has to be said.Toure and Djourou should be first choice for the rest of the season.Denilson too is improving,if only he were a bit taller.Diaby looks like a Genie.Arshavin purchase should really take care of the creative side for a while and then we have Rosicky and Walcott returning as well.Future definitely looks good.A Defensive Midfielder is an important area and someone has to be brought in.

  4. the game came to life with the introduction of vela. he is turning out to be an impact substitute like walcott was last season. and van persie was just amazinggg! just keep performing like that consistently!
    and its amazing 76.5% possession and just 4 saves in 90 mins! arsenal need to work on that.

  5. The defensive side of Arsenal was superb against Bolton, excepting the 5 minutes after we scored. It was like seeing a dream come true watching Djourou dominate in the air, with captain Toure being reasonably solid alongside him. These two seemed to have a good understanding, with one always dropping behind the other to provide depth when one challenged. Although it was a small movement, it saved us from even seeing a few Bolton counters. Denilson was intelligent in defense. The only thing we need now is the attack mindedness of Vela to come out in the rest of the team. I’d like to see him start but I don’t think hes quite ready. Much like last season when Walcott was fantastic off the bench but disappointed when Wenger gave him the start.

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