Arsenal recover to beat Bolton at death

<-- William Gallas takes the plaudits at Bolton

Arsenal FC gained a vital victory by overturning a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 at Bolton Wanderers FC – but they still trail Premier League leaders Manchester United FC by six points.

Title race
A stoppage-time own goal from Jlloyd Samuel snatched the points for Arsenal who had started the day in third place yet moved into second. However, Manchester United remain in charge of the title race after defeating Aston Villa FC 4-0 at Old Trafford in the Saturday evening kick-off. Chelsea FC, in third, host Middlesbrough FC on Sunday.

Arsenal revival
Arsène Wenger's men endured a miserable first half at the Reebok Stadium with two goals for Matthew Taylor sandwiching the 31st-minute sending-off of Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby. But the Gunners' ten men fought back after the interval. William Gallas reduced arrears before Robin van Persie's penalty restored parity and then Cesc Fabregas forced the decisive own goal. The result ended a five-match winless run for Arsenal in the Premier League.

United response
United responded to the news from Bolton by beating Villa with two goals in each half. A home victory looked likely from the moment Cristiano Ronaldo put United in front on 17 minutes with an outrageous flick between the legs of a defender. Carlos Tévez and then Wayne Rooney with a brace were also on target. Villa, seeking European qualification, missed several opportunities with Shaun Maloney the most culpable.

Derby relegated
If the Arsenal scoreline left Bolton four points adrift in the bottom three, the draw in the meeting of the two sides below them suited neither. Derby County FC scored first and last in the 2-2 home draw with Fulham FC but were relegated despite Emanuel Villa's late equaliser. The home victories elsewhere for Birmingham City FC and Sunderland AFC could also prove costly for Bolton and second-from-bottom Fulham. Birmingham survived the sending-off of Franck Queudrue to beat Manchester City FC 3-1 with two goals from Mauro Zarate. Sunderland owed their 2-1 success against West Ham United FC to an added-time strike from Andy Reid.

Portsmouth prevail
FA Cup semi-finalists Portsmouth FC consolidated sixth place courtesy of a 2-0 home win over strugglers Wigan Athletic FC. Blackburn Rovers FC sit three points behind them following a 0-0 draw at Reading FC.