The lung-bursting, shirt-tugging celebration said it all. Cesc Fabregas had finally scored a Premiership goal for Arsenal this season.

The 19-year-old chose his moment well. The sidefoot strike just after half time against Bolton on Saturday was arguably Arsenal's most important goal of the campaign given it all but secured Champions League football at Emirates Stadium next term.

However it was just as important for Fabregas himself. After hitting a brace in Zagreb last August, the Spaniard had been without a goal all season, spurning a couple of head-scratchingly clear-cut opportunities on the way.

"It's been amazing, crazy," he admitted after the game. "I've had so many chances but I haven't been taking them.

"I was saying to myself that it didn't upset me because it's not normal to have so many chances and not score. But in November I should have scored 10 goals.

"That's the way it is in football sometimes. You score one, then you score five and then maybe go five games without a goal. Fortunately this was the day. Let's see if I can score some more now. For me it's important for my confidence as well."

The lack of goals had clearly become an issue for Fabregas. But a premonition from an injured team-mate proved decisive.

"I don't know why I was missing so many chances really," said the former Barcelona player. "All the situations had come because the team was having great movements and I was there.

"Sometimes it was all down to myself like against Reading, when I didn't even touch the ball. But I also had a similar miss against CSKA Moscow.

"Sometimes you make the shot of your life and it hits the post, other times the keeper makes a great save.

"It is difficult because Tomas [Rosicky] and Alex [Hleb] and even Gilberto - who is a holding midfielder - have scored more goals than me.

"But a lot of people were telling me I was going to score in this game, including Robin van Persie. He's just come back from Holland and he told me 'today you're going to score Cesc'."

Given his form it would have been a long-odds gamble. But, on Grand National day, the outsider came in.

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16 Apr 2007