Arsenal 1 (Bendtner 90)
Just 60 seconds from the end of the five minutes of added time, Nicklas Bendtner broke Wolves hearts as he headed the winner for an Arsenal side that had constantly been denied by a valiant visiting defence.
It had been a real backs to the wall performance by the Molineux men whose cause wasn't helped by an appalling referee decision by Andre Marriner. The official who had controversially sent Stephen Ward off at Liverpool in December, ordered Karl Henry off for a challenge that, at worst, warranted a booking.
Arsenal kicked-off attacking the end of the Emirates Stadium that housed just under 3,000 travelling supporters. Wolves won an early free-kick which was taken by George Elokobi but easily cleared by the home defence.
Marcus Hahnemann made a fine save in the sixth minute as he turned Eduardo's shot round the post after the Croatian had connected with Theo Walcott's low cross.
Michael Mancienne screwed a drive wide after a Kevin Foley had found him 25-yards out, and then Eduardo fluffed his shot from in front of goal, scuffing the ball wide after a centre from Tomas Rosicky.
Bacary Sagna sprinted onto a through ball from Walcott and forced a diving save from Hahnemann - the ball bouncing clear off the keeper's legs.
The American was in the thick of thing and after cutting out a low cross from Walcott he was hurt and had to receive treatment after Sagna had collided with him.
Henry was harshly penalised for a challenge on Emmanuel Eboue just a yard outside the Wolves box. Eduardo touched the ball to Thomas Vermaelen who was both high and wide with his effort.
Elokobi headed a clearance to Walcott whose half volley from 22-yards went straight to Hahnemann and then Rosicky fired high over the bar with a shot on the turn.
After Denilson drove wide, Mikael Silvestre's shot was easily claimed by the keeper who then punched clear following a corner from Eboue.
As the half drew to a close, Wolves broke free from their defensive shackles and Ronald Zubar forced a corner that was cleared by Manuel Almunia.
For the first time in the game it was The Gunners that were forced back and another corner, this time taken by Matt Jarvis, was again fisted clear by the keeper.
Half-Time: Arsenal 0 Wolves 0
The second-half began with a dangerous cross from Silvestre that flew through the goalmouth and out to the far side. When the ball was cleared upfield, Almunia had to race from his area to boot the ball out as Kevin Doyle homed in on an Elokobi clearance.
But it was still all Arsenal and after Eduardo had poked the ball wide from just eight-yards out, Hahnemann did well to hold on to an angled drive from Rosicky.
On the hour mark, Sol Campbell and Almunia tangled as they attempted to reach a cross from Jarvis with the central defender just doing enough to get the ball away.
Alex Song fouled Henry 25-yards out from the Arsenal goal. The Wolves skipper flicked the free-kick to Dave Jones who struck the ball well only for Almunia to make a comfortable save.
Jarvis was shown the yellow card for a tackle on Song before the first substitution of the afternoon saw Bendtner replacing Eboue.
Midway through the half came the Henry dismissal. His challenge on Rosicky was perhaps untidy, but he looked to have got to the ball. But out came the red card to make Wanderers task even harder.
Rosicky, who two minutes earlier had been lying prone on the floor, quickly recovered and Hahnemann had to make a point blank save to deny him.
Mick McCarthy then made a double switch replacing Jones and Doyle with Dave Edwards and Andy Keogh respectively. Shortly afterwards, Samir Nasri came on in place of Song for Arsenal.
Hahnemann plucked a Bendtner header out of the air and then made an excellent stop to keep out an effort from Rosicky.
Wolves almost sneaked into the lead following a Jarvis corner. The ball appeared to come off the back of Campbell's head but was cleared off the line by Rosicky.
Mancienne went into the book for a foul on Walcott before both teams made further changes with Carlos Vela taking over from Eduardo for Arsenal, and Ward replacing Jarvis for Wolves.
Denilson and Walcott both shot wide as the game moved into stoppage time and Keogh tried to chip Almunia from 40-yards but the keeper had no trouble in collecting.
Then disaster struck as Bendtner headed Sagna's cross beyond the dive of Hahnemann.
Arsenal: Almunia (capt), Sagna, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Eduardo (Vela 79), Walcott, Denilson, Song (Nasri 71), Silvestre, Eboue (Bendtner 64), Campbell.
Unused subs: Diaby, Fabianski, Clichy, Eastmond.
Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Elokobi, Mancienne, Craddock, Berra, Foley, Henry (capt), Doyle (Keogh 69), Jones (Edwards 69), Jarvis (Ward 83).
Unused subs: Hennessey, Iwelumo, Milijaš, Guedioura.
Bookings: Jarvis (64 - foul), Mancienne (79 - foul).
Sending-Off: Henry (66 - foul).
Referee: A. Marriner.