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17:45 12th February 2011

Van Persie Double Sees Off Wolves

Arsenal 2 (Van Persie 16, 56)

Wolves 0

After their heroics against Manchester United a week earlier, Wolves rarely threatened second placed Arsenal who took the spoils from a one sided game thanks to a brace from Robin Van Persie.

Mick McCarthy's team was unchanged following the win over United as Arsenal kicked-off at the Emirates Stadium in a hail storm.

The early pressure came from the Gunners and whilst the hail soon relented, the pressure didn't.

Christophe Berra had to clear a low cross from Van Persie and then Nenad Milijaš had little time to spare as he blasted a centre from Cesc Fabregas into the crowd.

Berra was then penalised for a challenge on Jack Wilshere three yards outside the Wolves area but Van Persie's free-kick was too high to trouble Wayne Hennessey.

Van Persie was wide with a shot from the edge of the box after he had taken a pass from Alex Song before Wanderers finally broke from their defensive shackles with Johan Djourou fouling Kevin Doyle to the left of the home area.

Adam Hammill lifted the free-kick into the heart of the area but the raised flag of the linesman on the far side ended any hope of capitalising on it.

Matt Jarvis won a corner off Laurent Koscielny but Milijaš's kick was punched clear by Wojciech Szczesny before Arsenal moved into a 16th minute lead as Van Persie hit a right foot volley into the net after Fabregas had supplied the cross from the right.

Andrey Arshavin almost made it two four minutes later but he shanked his shot horribly wide after Van Persie's corner found him unmarked in front of goal.

From a Hammill corner Ronald Zubar headed well wide and when Arsenal went back on the attack George Elokobi had to clear Wilshere's low cross as Van Persie raced in.

The visitors goal led something of a charmed life in the 31st minute. Hennessey made a brilliant save to deny Theo Walcott who had connected with Wilshere's cross. The loose ball dropped to Fabregas and this time it was Richard Stearman who produced the rescue act as he cleared off the line with Zubar averting any further danger by booting upfield.

Either side of a booking for Zubar for a foul on Walcott, both sides had penalty claims waved away. Djourou's challenge on Hammill was dismissed and then Hammill survived an appeal himself when Arshavin went down under his challenge in the Wolves box.

In stoppage time Hennessey saved with his feet as Van Persie threatened to add to his tally.

Half-Time; Arsenal 1 Wolves 0

Twice in the opening two minutes of the second half Arsenal could have scored. A tremendous run by Wilshere opened up the Wolves defence and with everyone expecting the youngster to finish the job off himself, he slipped the ball to Walcott who shot wide with just Hennessey to beat.

Then Stearman almost turned a Wilshere cross into his own net with Hennessey blocking with his foot and Van Persie lifting the rebound high over the bar.

Zubar and Van Persie both needed treatment after the Wolves man had caught the Dutch striker as he attempted to clear, then Arshavin rifled a 22-yard shot narrowly wide of the mark.

But The Gunners got a second on 56 minutes as Walcott broke down the right before squaring the ball to Van Persie who made no mistake from the edge of the box.

In the minutes that followed, both sides made double changes. For Wolves Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Foley went on for Milijaš and Jamie O'Hara before Arsène Wenger replaced Van Persie and Arshavin with Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner.

Arsenal made a final switch in the 76th minute with the lively Wilshere making way for Denilson and four minutes later Steven Fletcher went on for Doyle for Wolves.

Arsenal were in irrepressible form but credit to Wolves who never gave up trying. Fletcher had a shot blocked by Djourou and the home side had every man back for the two corners that followed.

Walcott shot wide of the far post after a run from inside his own half and an exchange of passes with Chamakh, and in the last minute Ebanks-Blake fired narrowly over the bar after Zubar had turned the ball into his path.

There was no doubt that Hennessey was Wolves' star player and in stoppage time he plucked a shot from Fabregas out of the air to keep the final score down to 2-0.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Fabregas (capt), Koscielny, Van Persie (Chamakh 72), Walcott, Song, Wilshere (Denison 76), Djourou, Clichy, Arshavin (Bendtner 72).

Unused subs: Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs.

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Elokobi, Milijaš (Ebanks-Blake 63), Berra, Stearman, Hammill, Henry (capt), Doyle (Fletcher 80), O'Hara (Foley 63), Jarvis.

Unused subs: Hahnemann, Craddock, Ward, Jones.

Booking: Zubar (42 - foul).

Referee: C. Foy.

Attendance: 60,050.

    Data provided by Press Association


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