Arsenal 2 (Pepe 82, Sa OG 90+5) Wolves 1 (Hwang 10)
Wolves suffered injury time heartbreak at the Emirates Stadium, as Arsenal fought back from a goal behind to win late in the day. Hee Chan Hwang’s tenth minute opener had Wolves ahead for a long time in north London, but the Gunners piled on the pressure late on and found a way past Jose Sa twice late on.
Hwang’s finish was a thing of beauty, as he capitalised on a defensive mistake and squeezed in from a tight angle. However, Arsenal kept enjoyed long spells of possession from that point, and once Nicolas Pepe equalised it was anybody’s game, and with the last kick of the game Alexandre Lacazette’s shot was invertedly turned in by Sa.
With the clubs so close in the table, it had the feel of a big game - a sensation not lost on Bruno Lage’s men, who started well in the capital. So much so, they thought they’d taken the lead with their first attack, when Romain Saiss diverted home Ruben Neves’ cross, but after a lengthy VAR review, the Moroccan was adjudged to have been narrowly offside.
Not deterred by that decision, Wolves kept up the intensity, and when Gabriel played his back pass a touch short, Hwang sniffed it out, gaining possession and rounding Aaron Ramsdale, and, despite having plenty still to do, squeezed the ball home from a tight angle to put his side in front.
Raul Jimenez should even have put his side two up soon after but shot wide after being well picked out by Daniel Podence. Then, from that point the Gunners dominated possession, but couldn’t find a way past Sa and the committed defence in front of him, who threw their bodies in the way of everything.
Lacazette was frustrated by the goalkeeper from distance, while Gabriel Martinelli and Thomas Partey were both left frustrated when missing the target, as Wolves went in for the break with a slender lead.
Half-time | Arsenal 0 Wolves 1
Hwang’s goal separated the two teams at the break and the South Korean almost had a second straight after the break. Daniel Podence’s defence splitting pass sent him in down the right and he fired across goal, but his effort took a nick off Ramsdale’s boot which sent it wide of the post.
Lacazette was one again lively at the other end, firing wide of Sa’s goal, before stinging the palms of the Portuguese soon after. Either side of those chances, Nelson Semedo hobbled off with what looked a hamstring injury, but in his place came Jonny, making his first appearance since last spring – a welcome sight for all Wolves fans.
However, it wouldn’t be the dream return for the Spaniard as Arsenal fought back, first through Pepe, who turned in after good work by Eddie Nketiah. Then, deep into injury time, Lacazette found space and fired across goal, and once it took a deflection, Sa know little as the ball came off his fist and into the net.
Full-time | Arsenal 2 Wolves 1
Arsenal | Ramsdale, Soares (Nketiah 75), White, Gabriel, Tierney (Tavares 90), Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli (Pepe 71), Lacazette.
Unused subs | Leno, Holding, Lokonga, Elneny, Swanson, Hutchinson.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Podence (Dendoncker 89), Hwang (Neto 74), Jimenez.
Unused subs | Ruddy, Marcal, Jonny, Toti, Cundle, Trincao, Silva.