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Arsenal draws 0-0 at Bolton in Premier League

Updated: February 01, 2012, 18:18


Arsenal's Robin van Persie, right, attempts to score past Bolton's defence including Zat Knight, centre right, during their English Premier League soccer match at The Reebok Stadium, Bolton, England, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

BOLTON, England(AP) Arsenal's hopes of climbing back into the Champions League positions in the Premier League took a blow after being held to a 0-0 draw at lowly Bolton on Wednesday.

Netherlands striker Robin van Persie couldn't add to his league-high tally of 19 goals, hitting the goal frame twice in a match at Reebok Stadium that Arsenal dominated.

Wingers Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also squandered opportunities to lift Arsenal above Liverpool in the standings to fifth place, with the team even dropping a place as a result of Newcastle's 2-0 win at Blackburn.

Arsenal at least ended a run of three straight defeats but is now five points off the top four with 15 matches remaining.

"We have come through a difficult period and we have, of course, a fight in front of us - but we are ready for it,'' Wenger said.

Bolton, meanwhile, earned a precious point in its battle for survival and is now two clear of the relegation zone in 17th, but the team had to weather a storm in the second half before finishing its first match without conceding a goal since November.

Van Persie, who had his header cleared off the line in the ninth minute, first hit the frame just after the break when his flick from a cross by Bacary Sagna - making his first start for four months after injury - rebounded back off the near post.

Aaron Ramsey stabbed wide, before Van Persie struck the bar with a deft chip that had goalkeeper Adam Bogdan well beaten.

Bolton could even have nicked a scarcely deserved winner had referee Chris Foy penalized Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for a challenge on Mark Davies.

The penalty wasn't awarded and Arsenal had to make do with a point, its first in four games to leave the team without a league win in 2012.

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