Arsenal recover to take top spot

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LONDON - Arsenal fought back from 2-0 down to beat Bolton Wanderers 4-2 and go top of the Premier League while Liverpool re-ignited their season with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Arsenal's victory at the Emirates Stadium, thanks to goals from Tomas Rosicky, Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Vermaelen and Andriy Arshavin, lifted them above Chelsea on goals scored and put them top for the first time since August.

"We were 2-0 down after about the first 20 minutes but I believe this team will never give up and they showed it again tonight," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.

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Arsenal have 48 points from 22 games, followed by Chelsea (48 from 21) and Manchester United (47 from 22).

Spurs are fourth on 38, but Liverpool, who moved up from seventh to sixth, are just a point behind them after two Dirk Kuyt goals gave them a victory to ease the pressure on beleaguered manager Rafa Benitez.

"It was very important today, the players showed great character," Benitez told Sky Sports. "We were winning in the first half without playing well and worked very hard in the second half against a very good team."

POOR START

Arsenal and Bolton were meeting for the second time in three days following Arsenal's 2-0 win at Wanderers on Sunday and it was Bolton who took the initiative after seven minutes when defender Gary Cahill volleyed home from close range.

The visitors, deep in relegation trouble, stunned the home crowd when they deservedly doubled their advantage 20 minutes later, Denilson's sloppy tackle on Chung-Yong Lee leading to a penalty which Matt Taylor squeezed past the diving Manuel Almunia.

Arsenal grabbed one back just before halftime after a host of wasted chances when neat footwork from captain Fabregas played in Rosicky who smashed home from inside the box.

Arsenal equalised with a controversial goal after 52 minutes when they played on following a fierce tackle by William Gallas on Bolton's Mark Davies.

The midfielder was left in a heap but Fabregas rode two tackles before calmly rolling the ball past goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

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Arsenal went ahead after 65 minutes when defender Vermaelen smashed home from a corner and Arsene Wenger's side added a fourth through Andriy Arshavin five minutes from time.

BARREN SPELL

Spurs went to Liverpool looking for a first away win over a "Big Four" club for 65 matches and the pre-match pointers suggested they could end that barren spell.

Spurs had not conceded a goal in six games while Liverpool, knocked out of the FA Cup by Reading and without Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun, looked vulnerable.

Manager Benitez has come under pressure for a poor season which began with a 2-1 defeat at Spurs but Kuyt put Liverpool ahead after six minutes with a well struck 20-metre shot.

Spurs dominated territorially but rarely threatened and Kuyt doubled Liverpool's advantage with a stoppage-time penalty which took them to within a point of their opponents who just hung on to the fourth and final Champions League spot for now.