Danish hotshot Nicklas Bendtner came off the bench to score a late winner as Arsenal made hard work of beating an injury-hit Bolton Wanderers side.
In a first half of very few chances at either end, the liveliest player on show was Arsenal’s Dutch striker Robin Van Persie and he went closest to breaking the deadlock with two efforts around the half-hour mark that both flashed over Jussi Jaaskelainen’s cross bar.
Bolton failed to provide a threat of any kind in the second period and, as the Trotters’ players began to tire, the Gunners began to lay siege to their goal with Van Persie again going close as his curling strike rebounded to safety off the base of the post.
Arsene Wenger threw Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner on in the final half hour and the Danish striker immediately threatened with a header that he could only direct straight at Jaaskelainen.
However, Bendtner continued to look dangerous and he eventually grabbed his and Arsenal’s reward for their efforts in the 84th minute as Van Persie drove to the byline before firing the ball across the six-yard where Bendtner was waiting to steer beyond Jaaskelainen.
The result keeps Arsenal on the coattails of Aston Villa in the race for the Champions League while condemning Bolton to their fourth defeat in their last five games.
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