By Josh James
Gabriel's first half goal was enough to give ten-man Arsenal a potentially crucial win at Wolves.
The defender ended our four-game scoreless streak with a close range finish from a corner, but the hard work was done after we were reduced to ten min 20 minutes from time.
Gabriel Martinelli was the man dismissed, for two identical offences within the space of a few seconds.
But after that our defence stood firm in the face of sustained pressure from the home side, and earned a victory to move us up to fifth place in the league.
The opening 20 minutes were very even, and neither goalkeeper was tested as the two sides tentatively probing away for space in behind the well-organised defences.
We had just started to look the more dangerous side in the moments before the taking the lead. First Ben White had a shot charged down inside the area after neat work from Martin Odegaard and then Bukaya Saka to set up the chance. Alexandre Lacazette was inches away from connecting with a decent whipped in cross from Cedric on the right flank.
From the resulting corner we went ahead. White won the initial header, the ball fell between Lacazette and goalkeeper Jose Sa, where Gabriel was lurking to stab home from close range.
The Wolves players were appealing for a foul on the goalkeeper, but referee Michael Oliver saw nothing wrong, and the goal stood.
Saka created another for Lacazette moments after that, but the striker's shot was straight at Sa.
Wolves improved after falling behind, but without seriously troubling Aaron Ramsdale.
There was little between the sides in the second half too, but we looked to be in control, even if we were coming under more pressure.
That was until two yellow cards with a matter of seconds for Gabriel Martinelli reduced us to ten men for the last quarter of the game. They were both for pushes - Michael Oliver allowing play to continue after the first, only to stop play seconds later to issue two cards following a second push to bundle over Chinquinho.
Wolves had the ball in the net from the resulting free-kick, but it was ruled out for offside.
Lacazette had a glorious chance to double our lead shortly afterwards, but curled wide when through on goal.
Ramsdale made a flying stop to turn over Roman Saiss's effort as the hosts came back with renewed ambition.
As the pressure ramped up, Rob Holding cleared off the line and Raul Jimenez had a header saved.
Subsititute Holding was called on several times in the closing stages, but the whole backline played their part in what felt like a huge win at Molineux.
This was our first game for nearly three weeks, and Arteta was able to welcome back the players who were away at the Africa Cup of Nations last month.
Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny were named on the bench, but there were returns to the starting lineup for both Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey after suspension.
The other change from the side that drew with Burnley last time out was Cedric coming in at right back, with Rob Holding dropping to the bench. Takehiro Tomiyasu is still out injured. There was also a first appearance on the first team bench for 18-year-old defender Zach Awe.
WHAT IT MEANS
Our scheduled game with Chelsea this weekend has been postponed due to their involvement in the Club World Cup, so our next match is the following Saturday, at home to Brentford. Our re-arranged home match against Wolves will take place two weeks today.
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