January 17, 2010. English Premier League Championship. Bolton 0:2 Arsenal
It’s kind of amusing that on January 20, the same teams will hold the postponed Matchday 2 game of EPL. The first game was postponed back in August when Wenger's team participated in the qualifying round of the Champions League. The second time the game was moved because of Arsenal management concerns for their fans, who would experience difficulty in getting to the stadium because of the unusually cold weather on the foggy Albion. We hope that nothing will stand in the way of the game this time. Today the fight began briskly. Bolton tried to impose their game in every patch of the pitch from the first minutes of the match. But the guests were ready for such plot. It took them just a few minutes to adjust to the field and to the opponent. This adaptation turned out to be successful: two goals in each half. Andrey Arshavin spent 95 minutes on the pitch. He participated in all attacks, but his accurate assists didn’t result in goals. But this is football, not every good combination leads to a goal. The more important thing - three more points for Arsenal .
arshavin.eu: Andrey, this victory has interrupted Bolton’s unbeaten run that lasted for 5 games. How was it?
A.A: Today’s match was quite difficult. Such victories are necessary, they are important for the team. I think that we won today due to Arsenal team game. We tried to combine, but the pitch was difficult. It hindered us, but sometimes we conducted good attacks.
arshavin.eu: Bolton tried to press on, they had their moments…
A.A: Yes, they fought; they wanted at least not to lose. However, considering the whole match, I’m sure that it was us who possessed the territorial advantage.
arshavin.eu: What else helped you to win?
A.A: Cesc returned right in time. He led the team like a good conductor and managed to score a goal.
arshavin.eu: Were you anxious for the final result of the match at the beginning of the second half?
A.A: After the break the hosts rushed to recoup. I can’t say that at this moment we got confused, we lost the thread of the game. It took us some time to return everything back to square one. We took back our advantage, conducted several dangerous attacks, scored and spent another 10 minutes bringing the game quietly to the end.
arshavin.eu: Andrey, Did Bolton coach replacement somehow influence the game of this team. Frankly, I liked this club, its dedication, determination to fight. They just didn’t have luck on their side.
A.A: It's hard to say. I haven’t seen their games this season. I agree that they have a team that just will not give points away to anyone. As for the new coach, yes, in such moments, every team always gets together and tries to show its best. Owen Coyle played for Bolton, he is remembered and loved by local supporters, so it is clear that the team tried to show good football today for this reason as well.
arshavin.eu: We saw Craig Eastmond in the team and noticed that you support Arsenal young player. Did you deliberately miss the ball in that moment, when he hit the gate? A.A: No, I would not miss an opportunity to score:). In that moment it was difficult for me to drive the ball right into the net.
arshavin.eu: What were the reasons for changes in the lineup?
A.A: All the same. Injuries. Samir got injured the other day.
arshavin.eu: What’s your position in the starting lineup? Who are you? If your place is in the center of attack, why do you spend so much time being involved at the back?
A.A: I was not center-forward today. We changed the scheme of the game, my task was to play left field. Probably, I was not able to fully help out in the defense but thanks to the guys who corrected my flaws.
arshavin.eu: You are being critical to yourself. However, you took part in two goals.
A.A: The winner is the team that has won 3 points today. But the task is not completed yet, because we want to have 6 points in the matches against Bolton. If we are able to beat this team again in 2 days, we'll have good chances in the four Arsenal crucial matches that are ahead.
arshavin.eu: We all are somehow connected with Zenit. Andrey, tell me, do you still remember that UEFA Cup match? Have you been staying at the same hotel this time? A.A: No, today we have been staying at another hotel. When you come to play to any stadium, you remember certain moments of the past games. I didn’t forget that game. After that match we flew away from Manchester just like today. Only back then we went to Perm city.
arshavin.eu: It’s a holiday here in Russia today – The Day of the Strategic Missile Forces.
A.A: My dad served in these troops ..
arshavin.eu: Today is also the day of Ukrainian elections. According to the preliminary results Yushchenko epoch has ended.
A.A: I don’t follow this news, that’s for sure.