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23:58 10th November 2010

Another Fine Display For No Reward

Wolves 0

Arsenal 2 (Chamakh 1, 90+3)

It was pretty much the same old story for Wolves after they had conceded an early goal before gaining the upper hand against Arsenal and dominating proceedings only to concede again in the dying seconds.

There was just the one change to the team that had lost out to a stoppage time winner at Old Trafford with Michael Mancienne coming in for Stephen Hunt who was named as a substitute.

Arsenal kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and to the horror of the home support they were ahead after just 38 seconds. Alex Song sprinted down the right before delivering a cross that was headed home by Marouane Chamakh.

Richard Stearman then had to clear from Chamakh at the expense of a corner as the French striker threatened once again.

A mistake by Stearman left Andrei Arshavin in the clear and he looked odds on to score. But Marcus Hahnemann made a fine save to knock the ball down before Christophe Berra completed the clearance.

With only eight minutes gone Dave Edwards limped off to be replaced by Hunt.

Hahnemann came to the rescue again with another block, this time from Cesc Fabregas. The loose ball dropped invitingly in front of Tomas Rosicky and this time it was Nenad Milijaš who threw himself in the way to block.

Fabregas was wide with a low, long range drive and then a great cross from Kevin Foley looked destined for the head of Milijaš until Bacary Sagna got there first to nod clear.

Milijaš struck a 25-yard drive that Lukasz Fabianski dived forwards to take and as Wolves began to grow in confidence they went close after Johan Djourou had nudged Kevin Doyle on the right side of the Arsenal half.

Hunt lifted over the free-kick and Kevin Doyle's header just cleared the bar before landing on the roof of the net.

On the half-hour mark Arshavin threatened again with a run towards the home area but Stearman had kept pace with his man and got a foot in to guide the ball back to Hahnemann.

It took a fine save from Fabianski to prevent an own goal equaliser after Matt Jarvis outstripped Song and crossed from the by-line. Sebastien Squillaci sliced his attempted clearance and the ball was heading inside the far post with Hunt running in until the keeper threw himself full length to clear for a corner.

The flag kick was taken by Hunt and the ball flew through the heart of the Arsenal box with no-one able to get a touch.

Jack Wilshere's foul on Karl Henry led to a free-kick some 25-yards out. When the referee finally forced the wall back 10-yards, it did its job as Milijaš's free-kick rebounded from it.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Arsenal 1

Wolves almost responded to Arsenal's early strike with one of their own at the start of the new half which was less than 30 seconds old when Wilshere's slip allowed Jarvis to hit a low cross. Milijaš steamed in but his close range effort was blocked by Sagna.

But Arsenal should have been two up in the 50th minute after a bad clearance from Stearman went straight to Rosicky. He quickly slipped the ball to Fabregas who with just Hahnemann to beat shot wide of the post.

Berra got a head to a Jarvis cross and the ball dropped to Henry who hit a bouncing shot that went across the face of goal before being cleared.

Fabianski pulled off a brilliant save from an equally good shot on the turn from Doyle that was heading for the top corner until the keeper arched himself backwards and tipped the ball over the bar.

From Hunt's corner Stearman got a leg to the ball to divert it goalwards but it was cleared off the line by Rosicky. Seconds later Hunt was fouled by the corner flag and from his free-kick Foley headed onto the roof of the net.

Hunt headed wide after a cross from Foley but Arshavin was a whisker away from adding to his team's lead with an angled drive that hit the base of the far post and bounced to safety.

The Russian then had a dangerous looking shot blocked by Stearman before Denilson came on as a replacement for Wilshere. Denison was booked within four minutes of his introduction for not retreating at a free-kick.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was sent on for Mancienne for the closing minutes.

The Wolves defence struggled to clear a corner from Sagna and Djourou saw his shot deflected off the line by Henry and out for another corner.

Stearman was yellow carded for clipping Arshavin and he was followed into the book by Fabregas who incurred the wrath of the crowd for his late challenge on Stephen Ward that resulted in the Wolves man been carried off on a stretcher.

In the final minute of the 90, a piece of Doyle magic looked likely to produce a deserved equaliser. The Irish striker outstripped his marked and beat off another challenge before hitting a low shot that was just wide of the far post.

Arsenal had every man back in their own area for the corners that Wolves won in the final minutes and from one of them the ball was scrambled out to Berra who hit a first time shot that drew another fine save from Fabianski.

But throwing everyone forward in search of a leveller left gaping holes at the back and in the third of the four minutes of stoppage time Fabregas slipped a pass to Chamakh who fired past Hahnemann.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley, Ward (Fletcher 88), Edwards (Hunt 8), Berra, Stearman, Milijaš, Henry (capt), Doyle, Mancienne (Ebanks-Blake 79), Jarvis.

Unused subs: Van Damme, Elokobi, Hennessey, Mouyokolo.

Booking: Stearman (86 - foul).

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Fabrigas (capt), Rosicky, Song, Squillaci, Wilshere (Denison 68), Djourou, Clichy, Arshavin (Nasri 90+3), Chamakh (Bendtner 90+3).

Unused subs: Van Persie, Walcott, Aboue, Szczesny.

Bookings: Denilson (72 - not retreating at free-kick), Fabregas (88 - foul).

Referee: M. Halsey.

Attendance: 27,329.

    Data provided by Press Association


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