Post-Match Report

Match report: Wolves 2-1 Arsenal

Molineux Stadium

Wolves -

Molineux
Premier League
Premier League
  Wolves
      
              Rúben Neves (45 + 4 pen)
               João Moutinho (49)
          
   crest
Wolves
Rúben Neves (45 + 4 pen) João Moutinho (49)
2 1
  Arsenal
      
                  Pepe (32)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Pepe (32)

REPORT

By Chris Harris

WHAT HAPPENED

Our unbeaten run came to an end after a series of unfortunate events cost us dearly at Molineux.

Nicolas Pepe's outstanding goal gave us a deserved lead amid a sparkling first-half performance. But on the stroke of half-time a red card for David Luiz - compounded by Reuben Neves' penalty - transformed the game.

Joao Moutinho's spectacular strike put Wolves in front, and our hopes of a comeback were extinguished when Bernd Leno was sent off for handling the ball outside the area.

And yet we could have had the game won inside the first 10 minutes.

Bukayo Saka raced onto Thomas Partey's exquisite pass and fired against the post with just 36 seconds on the clock. Saka then found the net with a brilliant finish from Alex Lacazette's cut-back, but the goal was ruled out by VAR with Lacazette's right foot creeping into an offside position.

Undeterred, we continued to dominate. Saka was causing all sorts of problems while Partey and Granit Xhaka - on his 200th appearance for the club - were orchestrating from midfield.

But it was Pepe who broke the deadlock, and how.

Winning the ball inside Wolves half, Pepe collected a return pass from Lacazette, advanced into the area and showed tenacity and quick feet to get past Nelson Semedo and Conor Coady. He crowned that with a curling shot into the far corner.

Saka and Pepe both tested Rui Patricio and Saka had a penalty shout turned down after a clash with Willy Boly. Wolves were outclassed and holding on - but the match turned on its head with the final action of the first half.

Willian Jose was played in on goal and David Luiz, chasing back in the striker's slipstream, clipped his trailing leg with his thigh. It was the feintest of touches and looked accidental, but out came the red card.

Neves found the top corner from the spot and, somehow, we went in level at the break.

Gabriel replaced Lacazette as we looked to shore up our defence, but a world-class strike from Moutinho left us chasing the game shortly after the restart.

Moutinho took aim from 25 yards and, although Leno was at full stretch, the ball flew beyond him and bounced in off the post.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - making a welcome return to the squad - came on for Pepe. And we made inroads with 10 men, Hector Bellerin breaking into the box and almost picking out Saka with a low cut-back.

But another red card effectively ended our resistance. This time it was Leno, who misjudged the flight of the ball after charging out of his area and inadvertently struck it with his arm.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Get the full story of our trip to Molineux with our play-by-play updates

WHAT IT MEANS

Premier League

XHAKA 200

Granit Xhaka made his 200th appearance for the club when he started our game at Wolves.

The Switzerland midfielder has started 187 times since making his debut against Liverpool in August 2016.

Xhaka has scored 13 goals and made 19 assists.

TEAM NEWS

Mikel Arteta made just one change from our 0-0 draw against Manchester United. Saka, returning from injury, replaced Gabriel Martinelli.

Aubameyang and Dani Ceballos came back into the squad and were both on the bench alongside Martin Odegaard.

WHAT’S NEXT

Our next Premier League game is the early kick-off on Saturday, away at Aston Villa.

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