We asked where Mark Davies and Tuncay Sanli were. Oh where, oh where could they be? Turns out they could be found on the pitch at the Emirates. It's as if Owen Coyle decided to open up the Bolton Wanderers Twitter account and listen to the suggestions from the fans. The manager made a total of nine changes to the squad that lost to Sunderland with Gary Cahill and Darren Pratley the only two starters to make the cut. Coyle's five-man midfield featured Tuncay, Fabrice Muamba, and Mark Davies while Ivan Klasnic was the lone man up top. Bolton's track record at the Emirates, especially in cup competitions hasn't been anywhere in the neighborhood of good. Hit the jump to see how Bolton got on in London.
The first half saw no one bulge the back of the net. Instead, the talk was on the goalkeepers as both Adam Bogdan and Lukasz Fabianski kept it at 0's for their respective clubs. Bolton's best chances of the half came from Darren Pratley and Gael Kakuta as they both forced saves from Arsenal's keeper. Bogdan had his own hands full as Andrei Arshavin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Park Chu-Young led the Arsenal attack.
The second half started not with a whisper but a bang as a bit of lovely one-two play between Fabrice Muamba and Darren Pratley saw Fab find space in the Arsenal box. His thumping effort in the 47th minute found the roof of the net and put Bolton a goal up.
Arsenal were awakened by the Bolton goal and they took the initiative to get it back level. A total defensive breakdown allowed Arshavin's 53rd minute shot go all the way into the side netting in the far post. Disappointing, really.
Then, just three minutes later, Arsenal went ahead on a ball that was sensually stroked to the opposite post on Park Chu-Young's swerving effort. Arshavin carried the ball forward and found Park in an acre and a half of space as Gretar Steinsson was nowhere to be found. 2-1 to the Arsenal.
Owen Coyle's new-look Bolton side played a hard-fought match and even when they were down, they looked to attack. Despite the weakened sides, this was a fun of game and it was this kind of passion from the players that Bolton have been hungry for. Gael Kakuta and Tuncay did well for Bolton, as did Fabrice Muamba who looked right at home in the five man midfield.