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Bendtner Hands Arsenal Win

A goal two minutes from time courtesy of Nicklas Bendtner and then one from Theo Walcott in the second minute of added time saw Arsenal reclaim their place at the top of the English Premier League when they beat Cardiff 2-0 at the Emirates stadium on New Year’s Day.

The home side saw the majority of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, but for all their pressure they could not find a goal.

Arsenal created their first chance on goal in the 13th minute as Theo Walcott met a left wing cross from Jack Wilshere, but the Gunners man was stretching for the ball and saw his attempt form an acute angle six-yards out strike the side netting.

Five minutes later and Wilshere was in the thick of the action again when he set-up Cazorla, but his powerful shot from 22-yards out went just wide.

In the 26th minute Mikel Arteta played Walcott through on goal, but his attempted chip from 14-yards out went over the crossbar.

Two minutes later and Cardiff created their first opening on goal as Jordan Mutch drove into the Arsenal box from the left flank, but his shot from ten-yards out was straight at the keeper.

The last decent chance of the half came in the 31st minute as Cazorla danced past one defender on the left and pulled the ball back for Walcott on the edge of the box, but his left-footed shot hit the side netting.

The half ended 0-0.

The second 45 saw Arsenal dominating the possession stakes yet again, but their final pass continued to let them down.

The first actual shot on goal in the second stanza came in the 64th minute due to some individual brilliance from Wilshere who beat three defenders before seeing his 14-yard shot strike the outside of the post.

In the 67th minute Mertesacker should have given Arsenal the lead when he met a right wing cross from Walcott, but his header from ten-yards out shaved the wrong side of the upright.

Two minutes later and Mertesacker had another free header at a corner-kick, but again his header hit the outside of the post.

In the 76th minute Walcott came close to scoring when he saw his 20-yard free-kick sail inches over the target with the keeper beaten.

The final ten minutes saw Arsenal laid siege on the Cardiff goal and they were finally rewarded for their pressure two minutes from time as Nicklas Bendtner scored the winner from close range, 1-0.

Walcott added the icing on the cake with the Gunners second goal in the second minute of injury time.

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