Neves R.(Penalty) (45+5′)
Moutinho J. (49′)
Pepe N. 32′
Ball Possession: 55% – 45%
Goal Attempts: 11- 9
Shots on Goal: 7 – 3
Shots off Goal: 4 – 1
Blocked Shots: 0 – 5
Free Kicks: 10 – 12
Corner Kicks: 9 – 6
Offsides: 1 – 3
Goalkeeper Saves: 2 – 5
Fouls: 11 – 8
Red Cards: 0 – 2
Yellow Cards: 3 – 2
Total Passes: 576 – 488
Tackles: 10 – 13
Attacks: 107 – 97
Dangerous Attacks: 74 – 32
Arsenal will have themselves to blame here for not picking up the maximum points against a Wolves side that are winless in their last 5 Premier League encounters prior to this game. 2 bizarre red cards and a brilliant Jao Moutinho long-range strike was all that Wolves needed to end the Gunners’ unbeaten run in 2021.
Mikel Arteta made only one change to the team that drew last weekend with Manchester United, Bukayo Saka replacing Gabriel Martinelli in the Starting Line up.
Arsenal could have been ahead inside just 36 seconds of the game, with Bukayo Saka’s effort coming off against the post after being sent through on goal. In the 9th minute, the Gunners thought that they had gone ahead, again through Bukayo Saka’s shot from a neat pass by Lacazette, but the goal was ruled out by VAR with Lacazette looking to be in an offside position before the ball was played. Arsenal continued to mount the pressure on Wolves, dictating the tempo of the game, and their pressure would pay off in the 31st minute when they got the opening goal through Nicholas Pepe.
The Ivorian picked up the ball in the Wolves half down the left, danced past Nelson Semedo and another Wolves defender before sending a curling right-footed shot into the net to put the Gunners ahead. Arsenal failed to build on their lead and they would be punished in the closing stages of the first half when a neat pass from Moutinho to Neves, who was through on goal, only for David Luiz to clip the heels of the striker in a clumsy manner and received a straight red card for the challenge and a penalty to Wolves, with Ruben Neves sending the resulting penalty kick into the net to bring Wolves level in the tie and heading into the break.
It was a tough second half for the Gunners as Wolves capitalized on the numerical advantage to go 2-1 ahead 5 minutes after the restart through a long-range Shot from Jao Moutinho. The ball sailed into the far end of Leno’s post with the German goalkeeper failing to get a hand to it. Mikel Arteta threw on his talismanic Skipper, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in a bid to get an equalizer but things would turn really sour for the Gunners when their ever reliant goalkeeper, Bernd Leno was shown a straight red card in the 71st minute for handling the ball outside his penalty area to reduce the Gunners to 9-men and confine them to their first EPL defeat in 2021.
Again at a time when Arsenal were meant to take advantage of the opponents’ weakness, David Luiz’s naiveness has cost the Gunners severely.
WHAT THIS MEANS
- Arsenal finally loses an EPL game in 2021.
- Since signing for the Gunners, David Luiz has received 3 red cards and conceded 6 penalties. No other player has done that within this time.
- Wolves have done the double over Arsenal for the first time since 2001.
- Bernd Leno is the first Gunners goalkeeper to be sent off in an EPL game since David Seaman in 1997.
WHAT IS NEXT?
The Gunners travel away to Villa Park at the weekend to take on Aston Villa.
Match Review by Patrick Alexander