by Zain Shahid
After the firts 45 mins one could feel another dissapointing result was on the cards. But what we forget is that this is 2009 and not the unlucky, bad year for Arsenal 2008!
There isn’t much to say about the 1st half. Just passing the ball around in the midfield and sometimes out of frustration sending a poor cross in. That was the story of the first half for Arsenal. Bolton, no doubt, just like every other side that plays against Arsenal were extremely organized in defence. Arsenal passed the ball a lot and had the lion’s share of possession but the passing was no threat to Bolton. Arsenal needed a piece of magical inspiration… and it made me miss Fabregas! But Nasri in the 2nd half did that job well playing in the centre.
The 2nd half also started like the 1st one except that Bolton also had a couple of decent chances this time. But the match changed as Carlos Vela came on. Arsenal’s attacks became more penetrative and passing became more quick. Certainly that brilliant defence piercing ball by Nasri to find Adebayor deserved a goal but the Togolese striker took too long to unleash the shot. Arsenal continued attacking and came as close as to hitting the post courtesy van Persie. It seemed like another one of those days until arguably the man of the match van Persie was found in the box by a brilliant through ball by Clichy, and then the Dutchman’s pinpoint first touch cross for Bendtner set up the goal. A brilliant finish from a tight angle by the Dane certainly must have done wonders for his confidence. A few nervous moments at the end for the defence but it was a job well done in the end by the Gunners.
Almunia: 6.5 – Good work on the few occasions that he was called into action especially right at the end in injury time. Could have got a 7.0 had he communicated well with his centre halfs.
Sagna: 7.0 – Brilliant as usual. Was attacking most of the match and did well but whenever needed he was back defending and marked particularly well.
Djourou: 7.0 – Impressive performance by the youngster. Was strong in his tackles and always looked in control.
Toure: 7.0 – A good game for him also like his partner. He is certainly coming back into form.
Clichy: 6.5 – Did well once again. Made good runs forward but his crossing yet again let him down.
Eboue: 6.5/7.0 – He had his best match in months. Looked like a responsible player. Made good movements, didn’t give the ball away cheaply and when Sagna was a lot forward on corners or free kicks he stayed back in his place.
Denilson: 6.0 – He is not in a good form but he looked better than the last couple of games today. Made a few attempts to go forward and try and create an attack instead of just passing the ball around the half way line.
Diaby: 6.5 – An average performance from him. Needs to do better.
Nasri: 8.0 – The best player in the midfield today. Was involved in nearly all the attacks and did deserve an assist or two. Good passing, runs, free kicks, corners, crosses. And that ball to find Adebayor was just world class.
van Persie: 8.5 – Without doubt the man of the match. Played exceptionally well and deserved a goal. He too was involved in nearly all attacks and it seemed throughout the match that he wanted to do something special. The assist was wonderful. One could see his desire to get something from the match. He needs this consistency. Two consecutive brilliant performances from him.
Adebayor: 6.0 – He was quite involved in the match. But on most occasions he slowed down the attacks. Had just one shot on goal and that too a simple chance which he should have scored. All he can do is finish simple one on ones and headers.
Vela: 7.0 – The match lighted up with his introduction. Made good surging runs forward and good passing and little one-twos. Very energetic and active.
Bendtner: 7.0 – I was not happy when he came on because I wanted Wilshere to be brought on. But he certainly made all Gooners proud with that vital finish. His goal got the points for us. Looked very involved in the game and almost had an immediate impact with the header. Does reasonably well on the right of midfield I have been noticing.
Ramsey: Too little time for him to get anything out of the game.