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Arsenal beat Bolton to top Premier League

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Arsenal recovered from two goals down yesterday to beat Bolton 4-2 and go top of the English Premier League.

Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas pulled Arsenal level after Bolton had surged into a surprise 2-0 lead. Defender Thomas Vermaelen made it 3-2 with a fierce shot and with five minutes left, Andrei Arshavin scored the goal that put Arsenal into first place on goal difference.

It was the first time Arsenal have recovered from 2-0 down to win a Premier League game in almost two years - the last was against the same opponent - and confirmed the impression that Arsenal are genuine contenders for a first Premier League title since 2004.

"We believe we have a real chance," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "It is important to keep a good balance between humility, keeping our feet on the ground, and ambition and desire."

Arsenal joined Chelsea - which have a game in hand - on 48 points, one more than defending champions Manchester United. Tottenham stayed in fourth place despite a 2-0 loss at Liverpool, with Dirk Kuyt getting both goals.

Also yesterday, Aston Villa reached the League Cup final after rallying from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn 6-4. Villa won the first match of the two-leg semi-final 1-0 and advanced to the February 28 final 7-4 on aggregate.