Park life for Gunners
Summer signing and Arshavin cancel out Muamba opener
Last Updated: October 25, 2011 10:07pm
Chu-Young Park: Scored Arsenal's winner in the 56th minute
Chu-Young Park scored his first goal for Arsenal to help Arsene Wenger's men recover from a goal down to defeat Bolton in the fourth round of the Carling Cup at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners had welcomed Thomas Vermaelen back from a two-month injury among a completely changed first XI to the team which defeated Stoke at the weekend.
But even the Belgium international, who captained a side which included debutant Nico Yennaris, was helpless to prevent Fabrice Muamba from opening the scoring in the 47th minute after a mistake from Francis Coquelin.
Andrey Arshavin, though, answered some of his critics with a neat equaliser in the 53rd minute and three minutes later, Park, a summer signing from Monaco as back-up for Robin van Persie, completed the turnaround.
Defeat for Owen Coyle's men adds to the misery of a run of seven defeats in eight Premier League matches, which has left the club in the relegation zone.
For Arsenal, Carling Cup finalists last season, victory was a seventh of the season in all competitions at the Emirates to continue their strong home form, despite the struggles of Wenger's side.
The North Londoners had to withstand a barrage of Bolton pressure to hold out for victory, but the majority of the 56,628 crowd could celebrate fourth-round success.
Both sides made a host of changes for the game but the Trotters side contained more experience than their counterparts.
The teams struggled to find any rhythm during the opening exchanges, but Bolton regular Darren Pratley managed to eke out the first chance of note, breaking free through the middle and forcing Lukasz Fabianski to palm over from 20 yards.
Park tried a similar attempt at the other end, before the Trotters returned the attack and on-loan Gael Kakuta tested Fabianski with a low drive.
After a brief pause for Ivan Klasnic to receive treatment on his right shoulder, Yossi Benayoun got the home fans on their feet by turning Gretar Steinsson before curling a shot across the face of the goal.
The on-loan Chelsea midfielder's shot ended some distance wide and the home side's best chance of the period came from an unlikely source as Arshavin's free-kick teed up Vermaelen, who hit a fizzing strike that Adam Bogdan did well to save.
The Bolton goalkeeper was forced into action once again shortly afterwards, as a low effort from Park threatened to sneak in the bottom right-hand corner.
The visitors looked rejuvenated after half-time and took less than two minutes to break the deadlock.
Muamba won the ball off the dallying Frimpong and pressed forward, playing a neat one-two with Martin Petrov before rifling into the roof of the net.
Buoyed by the former Arsenal midfielder's goal, Bolton pressed forward and would have doubled their tally immediately afterwards if Klasnic had not applied so much pressure on Kakuta's right-wing cross.
But rather than collapse under the visitors' pressure, Arsenal pushed forward and levelled six minutes after falling behind.
Arshavin - one of the evening's shining lights - ran at the Bolton defence and, as Zat Knight and Mark Davies backed off, unleashed a low shot across the face of goal.
The Russia international was again involved moments later when another dangerous run down the middle freed Park, who opened his body and curled a right-footed shot akin to that of Thierry Henry in his prime.
The home side's attacking impetus soon slowed after the former Monaco man's 56th minute goal as the Gunners were forced to defend, with Vermaelen's last-ditch challenge stopping Klasnic getting a close-range shot away.
Kakuta was the next to test the home side's rearguard with a free-kick, before Fabianski almost fumbled a speculative effort from substitute Chris Eagles.
The Arsenal goalkeeper soon redeemed himself as the Trotters continued to press, producing superb saves to stop Klasnic and then Cahill.
In between the two efforts, Frimpong limped off and was replaced by Oguzhan Ozyakup, who was forced to help defend as Klasnic again took fire.Fortunately for Arsenal the Croatian's shot flew over and the home side managed to hold out for victory, despite efforts from Cahill and Steinsson in stoppage time.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||7|
|6||Shots off Target||10|