Bolton vs. Arsenal FC: Top 5 Gunners from Last Night's League Cup Win
After a come-from-behind win last night, Arsenal will progress to the fifth round of this year’s League Cup.
The game was certainly a tale of two halves, as the Gunners saw themselves fall behind against Bolton Wanderers, literally as the second-half whistle started.
Fabrice Muamba was able to get the better of Emmanuel Frimpong before linking up with Darren Pratley on a one-two into the net.
After that, the Gunners awoke from their slumber and dominated the second half. Goals by Andrey Arshavin and Park Chu-Young gave Arsene Wenger’s side the victory.
Still reeling from last year’s League Cup heartache, when Wenger’s men shockingly lost in the final to the now-relegated Birmingham City, the Arsenal boss feels his side is finally starting to come into their own.
New faces will be competing for Premier League starts in the coming fixtures.
Let’s take a look at the top five Arsenal performers from last night’s League Cup triumph.
5. Ryo Miyaichi
With only a 15-minute cameo, the young Ryo looked confident in his short spell on the pitch.
Replacing an ineffective Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Japanese midfielder troubled the Bolton defense going forward as expected.
But his defensive work rate is what really caught the eye of Wenger, and his interference of Gary Cahill minutes from time secured Arsenal’s progression.
This is a great sign for the Arsenal faithful, and hopefully Ryo will start to become more relevant within the first team.
4. Yossi Benayoun
One of the few Arsenal players to string some quality over the full 90 minutes, the Israeli showed his class throughout and his leadership was pivotal to their comeback.
Benayoun was able to control the midfield and link play efficiently. His movement was timed well, and his first-half effort on goal was created through his ability to sidestep Botlon’s back line.
Another player looking to get more playing time in league matches, Benayoun showed he can offer plenty to the Gunners when moving forward.
3. Thomas Vermaelen
Vermaelen looked relatively comfortable in his return to the Arsenal fold, and Wenger can breathe a sigh of relief with the defender at his selection once again.
The boisterous Belgian was his usual tidy self defensively, but his attacking capabilities are what make him so valuable to this team.
He almost bagged himself a goal with a trademark pile driver from nearly 30 yards out, causing Bolton 'keeper Adam Bogdan to go full-stretch to make the save.
He did limp off five minutes from time, causing quite the scare in Wenger and the fans. But it was just a cramp and Vermaelen assured everybody the exit was just a precaution.
2. Park Chu-Young
The South Korean captain took a while to get into the flow of the game, but once he did, he established himself neatly and was praised for his hard work.
He saw a few decent efforts saved at first but finally curled home the winner on 56 minutes. He effortlessly one-timed Arshavin’s feed in the box and sent home a sublime goal, deservedly celebrating in front of the home fans.
The summer signee has had limited chances so far in league, and this match provided valid reasoning for Wenger to take notice of Park for upcoming matches.
1. Andrey Arshavin
After promising to pick up his game from here on out, the diminutive Russian truly showed his brilliance last night.
He was orchestral throughout the match and led the Arsenal response by banging home an exquisite goal.
Arshavin also played a perfectly weighted pass in setting up Park’s winner and subsequently earned Man of the Match honors.
If this is a sign of things to come for Arshavin, his best days are definitely not behind him.