We have a treat today, a match summary from Allezkev who was at The Emirates last night…
We lined up:
Fabianski, Yennaris, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin and Park.
Mannone, Meade, Boateng, Ozyakup, Aneke, Ryo, Watt
We appeared to start out 4 4 1 1, although at times it was 4 5 1.
Arshavin played through the middle, Young was superb, constantly moving, making runs & making himself available.
The first half was fairly uneventful, Adam Bogdan made a couple of saves & Fabianski was forced to made a good stop.
Bolton put out quite a strong side and most of the first half was an evenly fought contest.
Vermaelen came close from a free kick, Arshavin looked as if he was going to chip it over the wall but instead slid a short pass to Verm who unloaded a thunderbolt that Bogdan did well to push away.
Bolton went for it from the restart and caught us but after they scored the game seemed to open up. We quickly equalised and soon after got a second. Boltons fragile confidence sagged, they had a good go at us but their finishing was terrible.
Young came close with two efforts, a dribble across the face of goal followed by a rasping shot from 20 yds that Bogdan palmed over and late in the game he again found himself in front of goal but seemed to slip as he turned and shot. It nearly crept in but Bogdan again saved.
A lot of fans would have gone last night, to see what all the fuss was about Oxlade~Chamberlain. Maybe he suffered a bit from all the hype and high expectations but it wasn’t his night.
He did some really good things and you can see his quality but it didn’t fall for him as a couple of chances went begging. He was a whisker away but he’ll have other nights when he’s the hero. He looked frustrated when he came off, so you can see he’s desperate to succeed. He still has a lot to learn but he’s a fantastic player and he’s at the right club to learn properly.
Park Chu Young announced himself to the Arsenal fans with a superb 90 min display. Despite being dwarfed by Knight & Cahill, he competed and won his fair share of high balls and as the game went on you could see him improving & growing in confidence. He always made himself available, was constantly making runs and angles for a pass.
He could have scored twice in the first half, a rasping 20 yard drive that Bogdan palmed around the post and an opportunist turn and shot in the area that Bogdan grabbed by the post.
A goal hanger..? A goal poacher..? His goal was class a goal scorers goal..!
Arshavin gained possession on the edge of the Bolton box. Looked to go on a mazy run but just made a bit of space for himself and seemed to pass the ball diagonally across the face of goal and between the Bolton defenders and into the far corner of the net with Bogdan left stranded. It looked simple, or ‘simples’, but the execution was superb.
Park Chu Young scored a real strikers goal. Arshavin again gained possession, advanced on the Bolton penalty area and waited until Park, to his left, began his run and just sent a slide rule pass that Park ran onto. Park opened up his body and just bent his shot around & across Bogdan and the ground exploded. I think he is going to be a very useful weapon in the weeks & months ahead.
Katkuta was giving us problems but Miquel and Benny were doubling up on him and just about keeping him quiet.
Fabianski was a mixture of good stops & flaps. Overall he did ok, but I don’t want him near the 1st team. He will always be a goalkeeping enigma.
Yennaris had a very solid 90 mins. Tackled well, didn’t waste a pass and did enough to show that he has 1st team potential.
Miquel was a surprise at left~back but he did very well against a dangerous opponent in Kakuta. Benayoun often dropped back to support him [Theo take note] and together they nullified the danger.
Squillaci picked up a brainless yellow card, a foul on the halfway line with the Bolton player going away from the Arsenal goal but fortunately after that he got his head in gear and had a reasonable game. Just keep him away from the 1st team.
Vermaelen was the big selection surprise but he was superb for his 83 mins.
Besides his first half exocet he just went about his business with the minimum of fuss. He went off to a standing ovation, a job well done and a 1st team place at Stamford Bridge a near certainty.
Frimpong & Coquelin again showed their huge potential, they anchored the midfield despite some tasty Bolton challenges.
Both have different styles but both have complimentary assets that give our midfield that mixture of robustness and delicate technique. Chasing and harrying one moment, moving the ball around with precision the next.
Benayoun had a good solid game, buzzing around, always available, using the ball intelligently, helping out his team mates. Benny is a valuable member of the squad. Reliability is his middle name.
We had the full set from Arshavin, one minute we’d be pulling our hair out at another lazy misdirected pass, the next we’d be dancing in the moonlight at his skill, vision and ability. We’d be moping around after giving away possession, next the axis in a sublime passing movement. He was behind everything good in this performance.
But that’s our meerkat..!
Ryo came on for Oxo, to a big cheer. He went on a couple of buccaneering runs that promise an exciting future. He gets you out of your seat that’s for sure and once this rough diamond has been polished he’ll be a dangerous weapon in our armoury. On one occasion he battled with a much bigger Bolton player and somehow came away with the ball, blasting off towards the Bolton goal. I think he is gonna be a big favourite of the fans in no time.
Ozyakup came on for Frimpong. He was neat, tidy and moved the ball intelligently, another with a lot more to offer.
Boateng came on for Verm & played out the remaining 7+4 mins without mishap.
Some of the passing & movement in the 2 nd half was top-notch. The defending at times was harem scarem but THIS IS Arsenal.
Some of the Benny, Arshavin, Park combinations in the 2nd half were of the highest level as Bolton were pulled all over the place.
Bolton did have opportunities and when Verm went off I did fear a late headed equaliser as they threw the kitchen sink at us but their finishing is terrible, at times, Hackney Marshes standard luckily.
Now for a home draw in the 5th Round. Palace would be nice. :-)
Written by Allezkev