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Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

Arsenal in first place after victory

LONDON (AP) Arsenal moved into first place, overcoming a two-goal deficit to beat Bolton 4-2 Wednesday night and extend its Premier League unbeaten streak to nine.

News photo
Moving message: Arsenal's William Gallas (left) and Bacary Sagna appeal to supporters at Emirates Stadium after their Premier League match against Bolton on Wednesday. AP PHOTO

Tomas Rosicky began the comeback in the 44th minute, and Cesc Fabregas made it 2-2 in the 52nd with his 11th league goal of the season.

With Bolton's Mark Davies down on the field after Arsenal's William Gallas stomped on his ankle, Fabregas darted between two players, pushed the ball past the lunging challenge of a third and sent an angled shot through the legs of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Davies was carried from the field on a stretcher after several minutes of treatment and replaced.

Thomas Vermaelen gave the Gunners the lead with a 12-meter shot in the 65th, and Andrei Arshavin got the final goal in the 85th.

Arsenal (15-4-3) has 48 points and is ahead of Chelsea (15-3-3) on goal difference, with Manchester United (15-5-2) one point back. The Gunners, who haven't won the title since 2004, are 7-0-2 in the league since a home loss to Chelsea on Nov. 29.

Bolton, 19th at 4-10-6, built its lead when Gary Cahill scored in the seventh minute and Matt Taylor converted a penalty kick in the 28th after Denilson's late challenge on Lee Chung Yong.

Liverpool (11-7-4) beat visiting Tottenham 2-0 and moved into sixth place, one point behind Spurs (11-6-5) and Manchester City (10-3-8). Dirk Kuyt scored in the sixth minute, then converted a penalty kick in the 90th.

Aston Villa reached its first final since 2000 after rallying from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn 6-4 in the League Cup and advance on 7-4 aggregate. Nikola Kalinic scored twice in the first 26 minutes for Blackburn before Villa took a 5-2 lead on goals by Stephen Warnock, James Milner, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey, and an own goal by Steven N'Zonzi.

Togo criticized

CABINDA , Angola (AP) Africa Cup of Nations organizers say the deadly attack on the Togo bus could have been avoided if the team's federation had made travel plans clear.

Tournament organizers issued a statement Wednesday criticizing Togo for not communicating better with African soccer's governing body ahead of the tournament and ignoring directives to arrive in Angola by plane.

"If we'd been informed, we'd certainly provide them an airplane, from Ponta Negra, Congo, to the province of Cabinda," said Justino Fernandes, the director of the tournament organizing committee. "We had no idea that Togo would be traveling by road from Congo to Cabinda."

Suspected separatists ambushed the bus on Jan. 8, killing an assistant coach, the team spokesman and the bus driver.

Togo's request to be given three days of mourning and to enter the tournament later was rejected by the African Confederation of Football, a decision that prompted the team to leave Angola without playing.



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