Bolton 0 Arsenal 1

  • By: Martyn Ziegler, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: May 22 2012, 10:00 BST

Christopher Wreh pushed Arsenal's dreams of a League and Cup Double one step

closer to reality with an outstanding winner against Bolton at the Reebok

Stadium tonight.

The Gunners are now just three points behind Premiership leaders Manchester

United with the luxury of two games in hand, and manager Arsene Wenger must

believe the title is now theirs for the taking.

For Bolton, defeat was a major blow in their fight for top-flight survival

after wins in their two previous matches had given them a glimpse of an escape

route from the relegation zone.

Liberia international striker Wreh was Arsenal's unlikely hero. Only in the

team because of Ian Wright's injury and Dennis Bergkamp's suspension, Wreh

scored a stunning goal out of nothing.

Two minutes into the second half, Stephen Hughes passed the ball to Emmanuel

Petit, who flicked it on to Wreh in a seemingly innocuous position 25 yards out

with his back to goal. But in an instant, he had spun and hammered in an

unstoppable shot that Bolton goalkeeper Keith Branagan could only watch as it

flew into the roof of his net.

It was a goal Wreh's cousin George Weah would have been proud of, and his

acrobatic celebration would have made Faustino Asprilla jealous.

But there were also bad moments for Arsenal. Martin Keown was given his

marching orders in the 64th minute for his second bookable offence when fouling

Nathan Blake on the edge of the area - Bolton howled for a penalty - and Marc

Overmars could add to Arsenal's growing list of injuries and suspensions after

failing to reappear for the second half.

Bolton fought all the way and put Arsenal under intense pressure for the last

20 minutes, but they were always struggling to beat the imperious Gunners

defence and outstanding David Seaman.

England's first-choice goalkeeper showed his worth with a marvellous save from

Alan Thompson in the 70th minute. Thompson hit a venomous first-time shot with

his left foot and the ball was swerving towards Seaman's far post before the

keeper flung himself to divert the ball to safety.

Nicolas Anelka had chances to extend Arsenal's lead but was too often guilty

of wasting possession and trying the extravagant when he should have passed to

team-mates in better positions.

Wreh went off as soon as Keown was dismissed, another defensive rock in the

form of Steve Bould going on to shore up the Arsenal back division.

The final minutes were frantic. Thompson had another chance, Mark Fish

volleyed wide and Gudni Bergsson side-footed a weak effort from a corner

straight at Seaman.

Five of Arsenal's last six Premiership matches have ended in 1-0 victories -

the familiar refrain of "1-0 to the Arsenal" has never sounded so apt - and

they have not conceded a goal in the Premiership since January 17.

It is truly championship form, and now they have it all to do again in the FA

Cup semi-finals against Wolves on Sunday.

Teams

Bolton: Branagan, Cox, Fish, Thompson, Phillips (Johansen 86),

Bergsson, Sheridan, Todd (Salako 52), Frandsen, Blake,

Holdsworth.

Subs Not Used: Ward, Fairclough, Taylor.

Booked: Cox.

Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira, Adams, Anelka (Platt 86),

Overmars (Hughes 45), Wreh (Bould 64), Keown, Parlour, Petit,

Grimandi.

Subs Not Used: Manninger, Garde.

Sent Off: Keown (65).

Booked: Keown, Bould.

Goals: Wreh 47.

Att: 25,000

Ref: K W Burge (Tonypandy).