Wolves’ impressive run of results in the league came to an abrupt halt at the hands of the reformed Gunners. Mikel Arteta’s men showed no fear, adopting a patient approach as they came toe to toe with the Wanderers, emulating the 3-4-3 formation that has proven to be so successful for Wolves over recent years. Arsenal took 3 points back to North London, courtesy of a 2-0 win.
Patricio, albeit, conceding his first goals in the league since the Spurs game, is a member of the defensive line that can hold his head high. Both goals scored by Arsenal were unavoidable from his perspective. He, however, did well by tipping an Nketiah attempt onto the post. He commanded his area fairly well and will look to continue this in the coming fixtures.
Poor performance from our marauding Irishman. Doherty didn’t offer much from an attacking nor defending viewpoint and was part of the buildup for the Saka opener, as the ball deflected straight off him (which I’m sure may have been a handball anyway) to the Arsenal man before he punished the Wolves backline. He will have been disappointed with his performance and was replaced by Traore in the right wingback position as Wolves sought an equaliser.
Another player who will be highly critical of his own performance and knows he should have done better. Boly threw out a kung-fu style air kick to try and clear the pass across the pitch before the first goal, leaving Doherty in a vulnerable position. He also gave away possession far too cheaply at times, which on another day could easily have been turned in for additional Arsenal goals.
Fresh from being nominated for Premier League Player of the Month, Coady would have liked to have backed it up with another dominant display, however, the very opposite occurred. The skipper, who leads by example was not at his usual levels of performance against Arsenal. He tried a few of his signature passes, but unfortunately, nothing came to fruition. Similar to the Tammy Abraham goal at the Molineux, Coady was sold too easily and left flat-footed for Lacazette’s goal.
As the 10 yellow card deadline has passed, it only made sense for Saiss to get his 10th booking of the season. Even after the yellow, he continued to act dangerously. Saiss didn’t look comfortable at all and afforded too much time and space for Willock to create the Arsenal 2nd, granted he was on a yellow, but a little bit of pressure would have been nice.
Jonny tried to offer something from a Wolves attacking point down the left, but the absence of his partner in crime Jota did show. Jonny has come on leaps and bounds in the left wingback position and is now more of a potent threat down that flank, coming close with an attempt in the first half. He, however, seemed to be in no man’s land for the Arsenal 2nd as he was running towards the Gunners goal rather than helping his own defence.
It was a true testament to Nuno’s integrity as a manager as he rewarded Dendoncker with a starting berth again, due to his midfield masterclass in the game against Villa. The Belgian did not have the same effect on this game and was withdrawn early in the second half, as Nuno tried to add some bite to his attacking force.
Definitely the best performer of the midfield trio. I do believe that he needs to get some confidence flowing again and trust in his ability to ripple the back of the net with one of his wonder shots. He stopped the scoreline from looking too embarrassing through a timely goal-line clearance towards the end.
A bad day at the office for Moutinho, someone who we often look at as Mr Consistent. Nothing seemed to be coming off in the middle of the park for him and the delivery from his set-pieces were uncharacteristically off. He is probably due a rest, but with the games coming thick and fast, Wolves will need his know-how in order to keep their challenge alive.
Frustratingly, this game showed that Adama was not effective playing in a 2 upfront. I do not believe that he has the composure to play in this role and this was evident through his 2 spurned chances. The match-defining moment was when he tried and failed to dink the ball over Martinez as Wolves were chasing the game. Adama needs to be hugging the touchline in order to cause damage.
Jimenez struggled to gain a foothold in the game and often found himself drifting out of position. He had one half chance as his header drifted wide, but nothing too threatening from the Wolves striker. He was unlucky to not register an assist 20 seconds into the game as he played Adama through, but other than this, a bad day at the office.
I truly believe this is what Jota needed in order to kickstart his form again. From the moment he came on, he had that direct, killer instinct that we all know about. He ran with the ball and arguably was Wolves’ most dangerous attacker, even if he was only on the pitch for less than 45 minutes. He tried to take a shot on his left, but this was blocked by the Arsenal defence and then played a perfect through ball to Traore, for what should have been the equaliser. I expect to see Jota back in the lineup soon, perhaps back in the 3-4-3 system.
Neto tried to be direct like his compatriot Jota, but unfortunately nothing of real concern to the Arsenal defence. I think Nuno’s man-management of Neto has been impressive, but similar to the Southampton game earlier on in the season, I would be interested to see Neto deployed in that hole behind the two forwards.
I won’t give a rating out of 10 per se, due to the minimal amount of time he was on the pitch, but I just want to comment about how hungry and full of fight he seemed, chasing lost causes and striving to win the ball back, showing a great attitude and his commitment to fight for his chance to represent his club.