Premier League – Arsenal seal stunning Bolton comeback



Arsenal came back from two goals down with 10 men to beat Bolton 3-2 on a soaking wet Reebok Stadium pitch and remain in touch with the top two in the Premier League.

FOOTBALL; Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal celebration, March 2008 - 0



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Matthew Taylor scored twice in the first half before goals from William Gallas, Robin van Persie (penalty) and a last-minute Jlloyd Samuel own-goal gave the Gunners three points.

After Taylor stunned the Gunners with a header to open the scoring in Bolton’s first threatening attack of the match on 14 minutes, Abou Diaby produced a disgraceful challenge on the standing leg of Gretar Steinsson to earn a straight red card.

Two minutes before half-time Taylor completed his brace when Mathieu Flamini lost possession and El-Hadji Diouf set him up on the edge of the box. His first-time strike found the bottom corner via a deflection.

After the break Bolton looked likely to grab a third goal as they peppered Manuel Almunia with crosses, but the comeback was on after William Gallas arrived late to finish at the back post in the 62nd minute after Ivan Campo inadvertently flicked on a Cesc Fabregas corner at the front upright.

It continued when Alexander Hleb was brought down in the box by Gary Cahill as he danced across the penalty area five minutes later, allowing Van Persie to slam home the penalty.

Bolton sought to hold on as the Gunners streamed forward in the last quarter of the game, the physical substitute Emmanuel Adebayor causing problems after he had been dropped from the starting line-up in favour of Nicklas Bendtner.

In the 90th minute Hleb pulled back on the left and Fabregas attacked the ball, scoring past the stranded Ali Al Habsi via a deflection off Samuel.

The result puts the stuttering Gunners – who had drawn four and lost one of their previous five league matches – back second above Chelsea.

Manchester United hammered Aston Villa 4-0 at Old Trafford, while Chelsea host Middlesbrough on Sunday.