Wolverhampton Wanderers condemned Arsenal to a third consecutive home league defeat on Sunday in a match that saw Raul Jimenez sustain what looked liked a serious injury.
The vast majority of the first-half was overshadowed by that horrendous looking injury to striker Jimenez but it did not appear to affect the visitors too much as they took the lead through winger Pedro Neto. Arsenal managed to hit back through Gabriel’s powerful header three minutes later but the visitors reclaimed their advantage through a great solo strike from Daniel Podence before the break, a goal that was enough to see Wolves claim a morale-boosting win.
Here are three things we learned from the Emirates Stadium:
Wolves react to Jimenez injury
Every person who watched the game on Sunday will be sending their best wishes to Wolves’ striker Jimenez after his horrific collision with David Luiz from a corner. Most would also have forgiven the Mexican’s teammates for not being up to their highest standards after witnessing such an awful incident.
However, Nuno’s men were completely the opposite, controlling the game against the Gunners. As a matter of fact, they produced what was likely their best first-half performance of the season.
In Jimenez’s absence, the wide-attacking duo of Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence worked extremely well, both finding the net. Away from the goals, the two also stretched the game excellently, continually threatening the Arsenal backline. For a side who have pretty much relied solely on Jimenez’s goals this season, more contributions from wide areas is of course vital. It will also allay any further fears should the Mexican hitman be missing for a considerable amount of time.
Another poor defeat for Arsenal
Whilst Nuno will be delighted with his team’s attacking showing, the same could not be said for Arteta having seen his team fall to yet another defeat at the Emirates Stadium. The most recent loss, following prior defeats to Leicester City and Aston Villa, now make it three home defeats in a row in the league, just the second time that the Gunners has suffered that in the Premier League era.
They have also only netted one goal in that time. For a team blessed with the attacking talents that they have, is a shocking statistic. In fact, Mikel Arteta’s men have not managed to find the net more than once in league play since a 2-1 win against Sheffield United back at the start of October.
If they are to start moving up the table, the Gunners really do need to start finding the net with more regularity which is of course easier said than done.
Wolves European contenders again?
The main complaint from Wolverhampton Wanderers fans this season has been their team’s lack of real consistency. After all, Nuno’s men have only won consecutive league games once since July.
However, the Premier League table will give a far more positive outlook. At the time of writing, the Black Country outfit sit sixth in the standings, just one point off of the Champions League places. If they can start stringing some consistent wins together then they could actually regain their space at the European table. They can be backed at odds of 22/1 with Betfair to finish in the top four come the end of the campaign.
Arsenal: Leno (6); Tierney (6), Luiz (5) (Holding (5), 45′), Gabriel (6), Bellerin (5); Willock (5), Xhaka (5) (Lacazette (N/A), 81′), Ceballos (5); Saka (6), Willian (5) (Nelson (5), 65′), Aubameyang (5).
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio (6); Marcal (6), Coady (6), Boly (7), Semedo (6); Traore (7), Dendoncker (6), Moutinho (7), Neto (7); Podence (7) (Neves (6), 70′), Jimenez (N/A) (Silva (6), 15′ (Kilman (N/A), (78′)).
Goals: Neto (28′), Gabriel (30′), Podence (42′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Boly (47′), Traore (54′), Silva (56′), Bellerin (69′), Holding (87′), Coady (89′)
Red Cards: N/A
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