Arsenal: Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Lacazette
Subs: Leno, Holding, Tavares, Swanson, Elneny, Lokonga, Hutchinson, Pepe, Nketiah
Arsenal came from behind to score two late goals against Wolves at the Emirates this evening, taking three points in a remarkable 2-1 win.
Mikel Arteta made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford, Gabriel Martinelli replacing Emile Smith Rowe who missed out through non-Covid illness. Takehiro Tomiyasu was also absent from the squad with a reported calf problem, but hopefully not a serious recurrence of the problem he’s been suffering from of late.
There was early drama when Martinelli was clearly impeded by Semedo in the opening minute, but a VAR check somehow didn’t see a foul. Thankfully, VAR did rule Saiss offside after he had the ball in our net, but it was very tight. Unfortunately, our defensive sloppiness in the early stages cost us a goal in the 10th minute.
Gabriel played a really poor back-pass to Ramsdale, it was intercepted, Hwang picked it up and rolled it home from a tight angle. 0-1.
It could have been worse just a couple of minutes later when Jimenez found himself behind Gabriel with just the keeper to beat, but he dragged his shot well wide. Saka created a chance for Odegaard which was blocked in the Wolves box, Odegaard found Lacazette but he couldn’t get a shot away, and the visitors were openly time-wasting in the 24th minute but Martin Atkinson didn’t care.
Sa missed a cross but Arsenal couldn’t capitalise, Lacazette saw a left footed effort hit the target but it was a routine save for the keeper, before the Frenchman flicked over from a Saka pass. Martinelli had a sight of goal, his first time effort flew not far wide from a Laca pass, while Thomas Partey fired one his customary efforts high and wide.
Saka picked up a yellow card after the referee got in the way, Odegaard produced a delicate pass to play Martinelli in but his attempted lob of the keeper saw the ball nestle in Sa’s hands. Poor defending from Gabriel again saw a Jimenez header flash not far beyond the post as the first period entered 2 minutes of added time.
With not a lot on the bench, it wasn’t a surprise that Mikel Arteta didn’t make a half-time change, and it was almost 0-2 when Hwang went through on goal and squirted the ball wide under Ramsdale from a tight angle.
Saka had a shot blocked after a lovely Partey turn, and the duo combined again when the Ghanaian lofted a lovely ball over the top but Saka couldn’t get good contact. Martinelli then produced a cross for Lacazette, he took the ball on the turn, but with Odegaard screaming for him to lay it off, he whacked it over the bar.
Wolves made a change on the hour mark when Semedo pulled a hamstring, he was replaced by Jonny. Lacazette’s 64th minute free kick hit the wall, Partey shot over, and Arteta made his first change in the 70th minute when Nicolas Pepe replaced Martinelli. Lacazette had an effort on target saved, Xhaka set up White who shot wide with his left foot, before Eddie Nketiah replaced Cedric in the 76th minute.
At this point Arsenal had had 22 attempts on goal, but just 3 on target, but in the 81st minute the equaliser finally came. Odegaard floated it forward, Nketiah took it on, played it back for Pepe, who took it, turned and finished from close range. 1-1.
Wolves had a big chance moments later. Ait-Nouri ran all the way down the left, it came to Neto who flicked a shot wide (replays showed it got a touch off Gabriel). At the other end, Odegaard clipped a shot off the top of the bar, Wolves wasted more time with sub nonsense, and Tavares came on for Tierney at the start of 6 minutes of added time.
It looked as if the winner wouldn’t come, but in the 6th minute of injury time, it did! Saka saw a shot saved, we kept the ball alive, worked it down the right hand side, Pepe involved, Odegaard too, it came to Lacazette, he seemed to mis-kick it and it went into the far corner off the keeper’s gloves! Amazing. 2-1.
The final whistle went and Arsenal players stood motionless in respect for the fallen opposition. No they didn’t. They celebrated like bastards, as they should!