Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gunners news : Wolves 0 vs 2 Arsenal

After a series of stumbles in their pursuit of the title Arsenal were looking for a perfect tonic, and so it proved as they beat Wolves at Molineux 2-0.

Arsene Wenger knows he commands the respect of his players, but even he couldn’t have expected such a quick fire response to his rallying call earlier this week. The lack of goals had troubled the Frenchman, but his players had obviously taken note as the north London team took the lead within 40 seconds of the kick off. Tomas Rosicky picked the ball up and ran at the Wolves defence before passing the ball out wide to Bacary Sagna. With the French international enjoying acres of space, he was able to pick his cross and find Marouane Chamakh who got between the two defenders and nodded into the bottom corner. The goal was clocked at 39 seconds, and relegation threatened Wolves were shell-shocked.

In a frenetic start to the game, Arsenal could have been two up six minutes later. Andriy Arshavin was put through one on one with Marcus Hahnemann, who was out quickly, made himself as big as possible and saved well at the Russian’s feet.

The Londoners were dominating possession and but for Hahnemann, could have been 3-0 to the good as concerted pressure gave Cesc Fabregasa sight at goal. The Spaniard was unmarked in the 18-yard box but could only fire his shot straight at Hahnemman.

With Arsenal looking in the mood to assemble a cricket score, Wolves could have gone into their shell, but Mick McCarthy’s men did not act as though they were shadowed with relegation fears. The midlanders were playing attractive football despite the early setback.

Arsene Wenger’s team had eased off slightly and Wolves were capitalising. Good work by Matt Jarvis on the left saw his cross squirt off a defender’s foot high into the air. As Stephen Hunt looked certain to plant it into the goal with his head, Lukasz Fabianski finger-tipped it away as Hunt rose. Arsenal’s early possession was being eaten up by Wolves and they were looking more the threatening as the half continued.

Despite this, there were no further clear cut chances until the whistle. After the break, Wolves – sensing the urgency of their situation – came out as they finished the first period. They were almost level as quickly as Arsenal after the restart. Matt Jarvis, who was switching from wing to wing, capitalised on a slip by Jack Wilshere. He burst into the area from the right before driving a low cross to the centre. Last ditch defending by Arsenal prevented Nenad Milijas equalising.

In an end-to-end second half, chances were coming thick and fast. Kevin Doyle was looking dangerous for the home team and he drew a fantastic save from Fabianski who was having an inspired match between the sticks for Arsenal.

As the game stretched even further, Wolves looked the likelier to score although both teams had shots cleared off the line and Andriy Arshavin hit the post for Arsenal. With time running out, Wolves put on Sylvain Ebanks-Blake to try and wrestle an equaliser from Arsenal, but Fabianski was proving the difference. Tempers were starting to flare as the crowd sensed there could be an equaliser.

In stoppage time however, Arsenal diffused the tension with the winning goal. Fabianski – who had been under siege from McCarthy’s team all night, saved brilliantly again from Kevin Doyle. His quick throw out gave Arsenal a counter-attacking opportunity and when the ball was squared to Chamakh in the centre, with Wolves stretched, his cool finish over Hahnemann settled the game. It was a cruel blow for Wolves, who deserved something, but for Arsenal their run of bad form has ended and they are right back in the title hunt.



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