By Nick Ames

Arsenal may have drawn a blank at Bolton on Wednesday but Robin van Persie was confident that nothing would go wrong at the other end - thanks to a couple of returning stars.

Mikel Arteta was back in the starting line-up after three games out of the side through injury and he was joined by Bacary Sagna, who made his first start since coming back from a four-month absence.

“I had a strong feeling during the game that Bolton would not score,” explained the captain in the Official Matchday Programme. “Our spine looked firm and that owed a lot to a couple of our returning players.

"Mikel Arteta made a real difference in terms of our solidity – he keeps the ball well, knows when to tackle and how to kill a counter-attack, showing his experience and demonstrating that he is a massive player for us.

“Bac’s return was a huge boost for us too. I didn’t know he was going to start, but he looked so fit and strong throughout the game. He’s been out for four months but came back in with only a few minutes’ football behind him and played unbelievably - and, I can tell you from my own experience, that’s really difficult to do.

"He was rock solid at the back and good going forward, so it’s great for all of us. He’s a good friend and an amazing player, and we’re all really happy to see him back.”

Read Robin's full captain's notes in the Official Matchday Programme. Click here to subscribe.

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4 Feb 2012