Belfast Telegraph

Woodwork denies Gunners

Robin van Persie was twice denied by the woodwork as Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

The Holland international, who also had a header cleared off the line early on, hit both the post and the crossbar in the second half as the Gunners slipped up on their travels again.

Wanderers clung on determinedly, after David Ngog had missed two chances in the first half, to add another point in their bid to avoid relegation.

Arsenal started bright and Van Persie had a header cleared off the line by David Wheater in only the ninth minute.

Wheater again denied Van Persie, this time by blocking his shot, after Theo Walcott had shrugged off Sam Ricketts to cross before the Holland international turned provider for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain only for the youngster to blaze over from a good position.

From that point the Gunners' influence on the game began to wane and Ngog should have made them pay by converting either of two good chances.

Having held off Laurent Koscielny his narrow-angle shot was parried away by Wojciech Szczesny but an even better chance went begging just after the mid-point of the half. Wheater's knock-on left the Frenchman with only the goalkeeper to beat but although he achieved that his shot rolled past the far post.

Walcott had even more time with his chance after racing on to Oxlade-Chamberlain's through-ball but Adam Bogdan did just enough to deflect the ball for a corner.

Van Persie almost opened the scoring early in the second half when his touch from Bacary Sagna's right-wing cross rebounded back off the near post while Koscielny headed wide the Dutchman's corner.

With 10 minutes remaining Van Persie, for the second time in the half, was denied by the frame of the goal as his delicately-weighted chip had the beating of Bogdan but not the crossbar.


From Belfast Telegraph