An Old-Fashioned FA Cup Thriller
Despite missing two penalties, Arsenal was able to secure safe passage to the fifth round of the F.A. Cup with a 3-1 overtime win over Bolton. The win was a sweet one for Arsene Wenger's men because it came at Reebok Stadium, which had proven to be something of an impenetrable fortress for the Gunners this season. After taking an early first-half lead, Arsenal spurned the opportunity to kill the game when Gilberto Silva sent his penalty soaring over the bar; Bolton was then rewarded for its perseverance with a stoppage time equalizer. Overtime was unbelievable; Bolton wasted three good chances, hitting the post once, while Arsenal wasted at least as many, finally breaking through in the 113th minute through Freddie Ljunberg. Striker Julio Baptista then missed another penalty before Emmanuel Adebayor finished the game off in the last minute.
"It was an electric game with exceptional pace and I can't believe the amount of chances we had," purred Wenger. "Who would believe it?Two Brazilians missing penalties. I can't believe it. But even though we didn't seem to be able to finish the game off, we responded well to those setbacks and it was still a good performance. We also responded well in extra time and we showed a lot of maturity."
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