Late Cohen goal stuns Gunners

The Israeli powered a 90th-minute header past Wojciech Szczesny and

then removed his shirt to reveal a picture of his late father Avi,

who died in December following a motorcycle accident, before

breaking down in tears. On-loan Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge

had opened the scoring in the 38th minute while Kevin Davies also

missed a penalty for Bolton at the start of the second half before

Robin van Persie netted a 48th-minute equaliser. The result leaves

Arsenal nine points behind Manchester United and three behind

Chelsea with only four games remaining. The first half was a

familiar story for Arsenal fans, with the Gunners bossing

possession but struggling to create clear-cut opportunities, while

Bolton’s more direct approach paid dividends. Probably the Gunners’

clearest opening came inside four minutes when Cesc Fabregas played

in Theo Walcott on the right. The England man’s strike was parried

by Jussi Jaaskelainen and Samir Nasri saw his follow-up effort

blocked by a combination of Gary Cahill and Zat Knight. Arsenal’s

pace looked to be the greatest threat to the hosts and from a quick

break Fabregas forced Jaaskelainen to tip his 25-yard effort round

the post before a Robin van Persie volley was well blocked by

Cahill. Bolton were giving as good as they got, though, and they

probably should have been ahead in the 24th minute when Sturridge

caught the Arsenal defence napping with a superb throughball for

Lee Chung-yong, but the Korean chose to try to pick out Kevin

Davies and the chance was lost. Lee had another golden chance in

the 37th minute, with Sturridge again the architect courtesy of a

lovely chip into the centre of the box. The winger made good

contact eight yards out but Szczesny was off his line quickly and

blocked the shot. There was no denying Bolton from the resulting

corner, though, as Sturridge made the breakthrough. Lee’s cross was

headed powerfully towards goal by the impressive Cahill and,

although Nasri cleared off the line, Sturridge was on hand to head

in the ball. Fabregas almost squared things before half-time but

his 20-yard shot cannoned off the post with Jaaskelainen well

beaten. Things got worse for Arsenal in the opening minute of the

second half and again it was Sturridge causing the problems. The

striker’s neat turn took him past Johan Djourou and, when Sturridge

fell in the box under pressure from the Gunners defender, referee

Mike Jones pointed to the penalty spot. Captain Davies stepped up

but his effort was tame and straight at Szczesny, who easily

blocked the shot. It seemed inevitable Arsenal would capitalise on

their second chance and little over a minute after the penalty, Van

Persie picked up the ball on the right and played a one-two with

Fabregas before placing the ball just inside the post. It was the

seventh successive away game in which the Dutchman had found the

net – a new Premier League record. Bolton responded well but they

were indebted to their goalkeeper for keeping them level when Nasri

ran on to van Persie’s throughball in the 65th minute. The

Frenchman was in space but Jaaskelainen made himself big to block

the initial shot and, although the ball rebounded to Nasri, the

angle was too tight and Cahill was able to block his follow-up. The

Gunners pressed but Bolton defended superbly and it was they who

created the clear-cut chance Arsenal craved when Johan Elmander

took advantage of a defensive slip to run into the box and fire in

a shot at Szczesny, who did well to palm it behind. There was no

stopping Bolton from the corner, though, as Taylor’s cross picked

out the head of Cohen, who had replaced Sturridge six minutes

earlier. With the game in the 90th minute, the Israeli powered a

head into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

Cohen broke down in tears as he was mobbed by his team-mates but it

was Arsenal who were left distraught moments later as Jones blew

the final whistle.