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21:39 7th November 2009


Wolves 1 (Craddock 89)

Arsenal 4 (Zubar-og 28, Craddock-og 36, Fabrigas 45, Arshavin 66)

After enjoying the better of the first 25 minutes, Wolves conceded two own goals to Arsenal who then took charge to finish as comfortable 4-1 winners at Molineux.

Mick McCarthy made three changes to his starting line-up with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replacing the injured Chris Iwelumo, Richard Stearman coming in for George Elokobi and Nenad Milijaš was named in preference to Michael Kightly who was one of the substitutes.

Before the start a minute's silence was held in respect for the British fallen in conflicts through the years including the present one in Afghanistan.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and they made a bright start enjoying much of the forward play.

Bacary Sagna had to head clear a Ronald Zubar cross and then William Gallas was forced to concede a corner after Milijaš had fired in a centre. The Serb took the flag kick himself and Kevin Doyle's glancing header was cleared from in front of the line by Kieran Gibbs.

The referee played the advantage rule after Gallas had hacked down Doyle but he booked the Arsenal man after Stearman's low cross had been turned behind for a corner. When Milijaš took the kick Ebanks-Blake was a foot wide with a near post header.

Christophe Berra tested Manuel Almunia with a long range put although the Spanish keeper didn't have to move his feet to claim the ball.

Berra then got underneath a Milijaš free-kick. The ball dropped to Doyle whose shot on the turn hit a defender and was scrambled clear.

Zubar cleared a dangerous cross from Robin Van Persie before The Gunner lost Vassiriki Diaby who limped off to be replaced by Alexandre Song.

Doyle's low cross was just too far in front of Ebanks-Blake who was booked moments later when he handled following a Milijaš corner although it looked accidental.

After absorbing Wolves' pressure Arsenal took a fortuitous lead in the 28th minute. Cesc Fabrigas delivered a corner that flew through the six-yard box and bounced into the net off the thigh of Zubar.

Worse followed seven minutes later when another deflection led to a second goal for the London side. With the majority of the Wolves side pressing forward Aaron Ramsey broke clear alongside Eduardo with only Jody Craddock back covering.

Ramsey slipped the ball to Eduardo and his chip looked to be going wide until it glanced off Craddock into the net.

The goals clearly knocked the stuffing out of the home side and Van Persie wasn't far off with a cross-shot that also took a deflection as it went behind.

Andrei Arshavin was shown the yellow card after a late challenge on Segundo Castillo and then Milijaš curled a free-kick over the bar after Thomas Vermaelen had fouled Doyle.

In stoppage time any brief glimmer of hope for Wolves was extinguished when Sagna and Eduardo cut through to create an easy chance for Fabrigas that wasn't spurned.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Arsenal 3

After an uneventful opening to the second period Almunia had to pluck Milijaš's deep free-kick out of the air in the heart of a crowded area.

Gibbs was booked after a high tackle on Zubar and Milijaš was yellow carded shortly afterwards after he had caught Sagna. Midway through the half Kightly replaced Castillo.

After Zubar had lost possession Wayne Hennessey made a superb save to turn over a drive from Arshavin. But, from Fabrigas's corner, the ball fell to Arshavin who buried a low shot into the corner of the net.

Two minutes later Hennessey had to save at the feet of Eduardo to prevent a fifth.

The substitutions continued with Matt Jarvis coming on for Milijaš in between two changes for the visitors with Tomas Rosicky replacing Eduardo and Samir Nasri taking the place of Arshavin.

Fabrigas missed a sitter from eight-yards after Van Persie had pulled the ball back for him, and then Wolves made a final switch as Michael Mancienne replaced Dave Edwards for the last ten minutes.

Van Persie was forced wide by Hennessey after he had intercepted Zubar's backpass and the Arsenal striker was eventually crowded out before he could get his shot in.

Then Rosicky blazed a shot over the bar from close quarters as the game drew towards its conclusion.

There was another goal and it went the way of Wolves as Craddock powered home a header from Jarvis's corner for his third goal in two games.

But it was scant consolation for a well beaten Wolves side and Ramsey almost restored the four goal advantage when he shot just wide in stoppage time.

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Stearmen, Edwards (Mancienne 80), Craddock, Berra, Milijaš (Jarvis 74), Henry (capt), Doyle, Ebanks-Blake, Castillo (Kightly 65).

Unused subs: Keogh, Hahnemann, Halford, Maierhofer.

Bookings: Ebanks-Blake (27 - handling), Milijaš (60 - foul).

Arsenal: Almunia, Diaby (Song 24), Sagna, Fabregas (capt), Vermaelen, Eduardo (Rosicky 71), Gallas, Van Persie, Ramsey, Arshavin (Nasri 74), Gibbs.

Unused subs: Senderos, Silvestre, Mannone, Eboue.

Bookings: Gallas (10 - foul), Arshavin (40 - foul), Gibbs (59 - foul).

Referee: S. Bennett.

Attendance: 28,937.

Blackburn Rovers Academy Under 18s v Wolves - Match postponed - waterlogged pitch.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.