Arsenal sealed an impressive 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday, thanks to a moment of brilliance from Bukayo Saka.
The away side set the tempo early on with good spells of possession, and were rewarded for their efforts just before half-time. A deflected Kieran Tierney cross found its way to Saka, who acrobatically adjusted, and fired the ball past a helpless Rui Patricio. Wolves probed for an equaliser, but Adama Traore squandered their best chance after chipping his shot over the crossbar. With five minutes to go, Alexandre Lacazette rifled home to seal a deserved victory, which takes the Gunners to within three points of the day’s opponents in the Premier League table.
The continued form of Arsenal’s youngsters will please Mikel Arteta enormously. Saka’s goal was wonderfully taken, while Eddie Nketiah could have scored just moments before having struck the upright. Additionally, Arsenal manged to contain the aerial threat of Raul Jimenez as well as any side has managed since the restart. The defensive line, for the most part, was compact and solid. The fact that the away side managed to successfully close out the win is yet another cause for celebration.
At times, the forwards struggled to provide an outlet for the defenders. The likes of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi were urging the Arsenal forwards to make runs, sometimes to no avail. With a little bit more movement, the Gunners could have created a host more opportunities. Cedric Soares also looked a touch off the pace, although he did play an integral role in Saka’s opening goal.
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Manager rating out of 10
8 — Arteta set his team up very well to contain Wolves’ attacking threats, with two hardworking wing-backs included from the start who both know how to defend. Arsenal weren’t too concerned with pressing Wolves as the game progressed, which worked well in terms of denying space for Jimenez and Traore. Furthermore, Arteta’s substitutes, unlike in previous weeks, were well judged, as Lacazette grabbed the all-important second goal.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Emiliano Martinez, 7 — Was sharp to deny a lively Traore early on. The Argentine stopper looked assured throughout.
DF David Luiz, 7 — The Brazilian’s passing range was excellent, and he managed to make a number of good interceptions. At times his tackling was suspect, such as a rash first-half tackle on Traore, which earned him a yellow card.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 7 — Led the back line well, steeping out when necessary while maintaining positional discipline. The German’s distribution was also solid.
DF Sead Kolasinac, 7 — Functioned well on the left side of a back three. His power and added speed also seemed to help his defensive partners, whom he bailed out on a handful of occasions.
MF Cedric Soares, 6 — Took a while to get into the game, with this being his first league start of…