As expected Arsenal cruised passed lowly Wolves to record a comfortable 3-0 win at the Molineux Stadium, where both allArsenal.com’s special bet and predicted score proved correct. The win tightens Arsenal’s grip around a third place finish and also makes it an impressive nine wins from the past ten Premier League matches.
Goals to Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, along with a red card to Wolves centre-back Sebastian Bassong, within the first 11 minutes of the tie effectively sealed Wolves fate. Thereafter Arsenal easily controlled the match where any ideas of a miracle comeback were quashed by a well struck Yossi Benayoun goal in the 69th minute.
For the match Wenger made three changes to the starting line-up with Djourou, Santos and Ramsey replacing Koscielny, Gibbs and Rosicky. Admittedly and expectantly both Djourou and Santos visibly weakened our back five, particularly down Santos’ flank. Luckily for the Gunners though Wolves possess a relatively weak attack that proceeded to get even weaker after David Davis was hooked to in order to replace Bassong at the back.
The replacement of Rosicky with Ramsey, unlike Gibbs and Koscielny, was an unforced switch that allowed Wenger to rest his form play-maker. With the tie effectively over after Theo scored the second, the switch proved to be a well calculated gamble with Arsenal preferring to play keep-ball thereafter.
The Gunners now look forward to their upcoming clash against Wigan who surprisingly recorded an upset win over Premier League leader Manchester United. Again Arsenal need to approach this game like any high profile match to ensure a similar upset does not happen.
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on the result…
We started well and then had a situation where we could control the game. Did we push on or not? After that we played a bit with the handbrake on, they played deeper and defended like mad with a great spirit until the end of the game. If they keep that spirit then they still have a chance of staying in the league. On our part we controlled the game, although they actually had a spell in the second half where they created chances. Szczesny made a good save but after that it was a comfortable win.
on top-three situation…
I am very happy that we are in this position but I am also very cautious because some teams have been in that position before. We want to win our next game because where we have come from this season we must be focused. We have come from very deep and to stay in this position we have to focus on our next game.
on the penalty…
It looked to me like a penalty but I have not seen it again. You could argue that he is the last man as well. The referee had no choice but I think the punishment is harsh because you give away a penalty and you lose a man as well.
on spoiling the game…
It spoils the game for the supporters because they know they have little chance to come back after. I never forget that we lost Robin van Persie in Barcelona last season when he got a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. It was just strict application of the rules. Today I think the referee had no choice because it is the rule.
on Van Persie’s finish…
It was a surprise to me because I have never seen him doing that. It was just what came into his mind at the last second he said.
on ending his four-game goal draught…
It is not easy for a striker like Van Persie who is not used to not scoring. I think he equalled the record of Ian Wright by scoring against 17 different teams in the Premier League out of 20. That is absolutely remarkable in the modern game so I would like to congratulate him because that has never been done before. When your striker scores against 17 different teams, that is sensational.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Walcott Ramsey Benayoun
Van Persie (c)
Wojciech Szczesny | 7.5: Was hardly called into action, but made an incredible save from Kevin Doyle’s header and also stopped a potent shot in the final minutes in the match.
Bacary Sagna | 6.0: Wasn’t as influential as he usually is, although in saying this his help was not really needed this game. Did make a few poor passes, but an overall a good performance. (85′)
Johan Djourou | 6.5: Did look a little shaky at times, although went about his business rather efficiently. A good comeback performance from the Swiss defender.
Thomas Vermalen | 7.0: Good to see him back to his solid self. A very commanding performance from the no-nonsense Belgian defender.
Andre Santos | 6.0: Was beaten by Wolves attackers on a few occasions, but overall had very little to do in the match. An undemanding return for the Brazilain.
Alexandre Song | 6.5: The Cameroon midfielder played a relatively safe match and didn’t really have to do anything out of the ordinary. A solid performance
Aaron Ramsey | 6.0: Seemed a little bit off the pace with his decision-making, but was full of running. Got a few shots off in the second half.
Mikel Arteta | 6.5: Possession is Arteta’s game! When Arsenal decided to play keep-ball after going 2-0 up the Spaniard easily followed the game-plan.
Theo Walcott | 8.0: Brilliant interplay between himself and Robin van Persie to gain both a penalty and a goal of his own in the opening exchanges. While he did fade for the rest of the match, an assist and a goal is still exceptional for a match. (76′)
Robin van Persie | 8.0: Great performance by the Dutchman. Played in Walcott behind the Wolves defence to gain a penalty and then played a beautiful one two with Walcott again for him to score Arsenal’s second. Ran into the right spaces and played the right passes all match.
Yossi Benayoun | 7.0: The experienced Israeli midfielder worked very efficiently on the wing and looked very tidy distributing the ball. His shot left Henessey rooted to the ground and sealed off a comfortable win for the Gunners.
- Notable substitutions
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