Arsenal are all but out of the race for the English Premier League title after losing 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
The Gunners conceded a 89th minute goal when Bolton’s Israeli midfielder Tamir Cohen headed home from a corner to leave London rivals Chelsea as the only serious contenders to current leaders Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger’s team are now nine points adrift of United with just four games remaining.
On-loan Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge put Bolton ahead seven minutes before halftime with a header from close range after Samir Nasri had blocked Gary Cahill’s headed effort on the Arsenal goal line.
The goal brought Arsenal to life after they had struggled to impose themselves on a physical Bolton side in the first half.
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Moments after conceding, Cesc Fabregas rattled Jussi Jaaskelainen’s post from 25 yards as the Bolton goalkeeper looked on helpless.
And right at the end of the half Robin van Persie squandered a good chance to put his team back on level terms after midfielder Fabrice Muamba conceded a free kick on the edge of Bolton’s area.
But the Dutchman’s shot flew high and wide of the target.
The second half began catastrophically for Arsenal as referee Mike Jones awarded Bolton a penalty within a minute of the restart — Johan Djourou catching Sturridge’s heels on the left side of the area.
But Wojciech Szczesny saved Kevin Davis’ poorly taken spot kick.
Two minutes later Arsenal found themselves back on level terms as Robin van Persie and Fabregas exchanged passes inside Bolton’s penalty area before the Dutchman stroked the ball home.
As the half wore on Wenger’s team looked as though they might take the lead, but late chances which fell to Nasri and substitute Chamakh weren’t converted.
The stalemate left the traveling Arsenal fans increasingly frustrated at the prospect of another draw — after watching their side drop points to Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in their last two league matches.
But Bolton’s Cohen saw that the sequence was broken, leaving Arsenal’s dream of a first league title since 2004 in tatters.