It was a marathon, but I really enjoyed watching last night’s FA Cup Fourth Round replay match on Fox Soccer Channel between Bolton against Arsenal.
Arsenal made it all the more entertaining by missing two penalties and Adebayor squandering an open goal. But Bolton had their chances too hitting the post in the first half and extra time, as well as Anelka volleying the ball over the top of the crossbar in the dying minutes.
I was very impressed by Arsenal’s defending in the match both in defense and midfield. The Gunners provided Bolton with few opportunities around the box and quickly closed the Trotters down. All Bolton could do was continue to float crosses into the box hoping that someone could head them down for a striker to latch on to.
For a side who is supposed to despise playing a physical game, Arsenal battled well. Up front, though, was where the team had its troubles with chance after chance being squandered and Bolton wondering how they were still in the match. While Adebayor is a threat up front alongside Julio Baptista, both players need more playing time in order to flourish in England.
After a slow start to the season, the Gunners are firing on all cylinders. They’re in the League Cup final against Chelsea, as well as the fifth round of the FA Cup and have a two-legged tie against PSV Eindhoven, which they should win, in the Champions League.
Arsenal’s reward is a fifth round tie at home against Blackburn, which will be shown this Saturday (February 17, 2007) at 7:30am ET on Fox Soccer Channel in the U.S.