In the final game before the world cup break, Wolves fell to a defeat after a second half brace from Norwegian international Martin Ødegaard left Wolves rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table. Julen Lopetegui greeted the Molineux crowd prior to kick-off before proceeding to watch the full 90 minutes from the stands. Furthermore, a return to a back 5 for Wolves may be a sign of a change in formation to come under the new Spaniard.
The Wolves goalkeeper had a poor performance, making very few saves throughout the match, only managing to tip Saka’s shot over the bar and push Martinelli’s effort back into the box which was fired in moments later on the rebound by Ødegaard. Likewise, his distribution often failed to reach an old gold shirt.
Playing as a wing-back as opposed to a full-back, Semedo did make some decent runs forward but despite this he failed to create any worthwhile opportunities for Wolves and didn’t always cover his defensive spaces successfully.
Moving into a back three, Collins produced a poor display for Wolves. He frequently roamed out of the back line and didn’t position himself well particularly for Arsenal’s first goal. In possession, Collins did not look very comfortable on the ball and played a dangerous ball across the Wolves back line early in the first half.
Kilman played in the centre of the back 3, he enjoyed a solid first-half and provided decent cover across the back line.
Playing on the left side of the back 3 suited Toti, the young portuguese defender won all of his aerial duels and was the most impressive of the back three. He will be hoping to continue with similar decent performances after the world cup to cement himself into Wolves back three.
Bueno matched up well against Saka on Wolves’ left side, despite allowing Saka small spaces in behind at times, Bueno covered this area well and very few of Arsenal’s forward movements came successfully past him.
Moutinho was one of Wolves least notable performances, he was reliable in possession but unwilling at times to carry the ball forward on the transition.
Ever the consistent performer, Neves produced another decent display for Wolves and managed to find himself a shot on the half-volley in perfect Ruben Neves territory but only managed to blaze the effort over the bar. Neves will be excited to link up with the man that gave him his professional debut at only 17 years old, after the World Cup and help to push Wolves into a more successful 2023.
The young Malian has impressed since coming into the Wolves team, he carried the ball quickly on the transition and showed plenty of attacking intent. This performance follows on from a similar mid-week performance in the Carabao Cup against Leeds in which he scored his first Wolves goal. He did however, give away a cheap yellow card when he caught Jesus with a clumsy challenge.
Playing centrally against a solid Arsenal back line did not suit Adama who regularly found himself alone facing 3 or 4 red shirts. He did create a few chances for Wolves and was the regular outlet for most of Wolves attacking threat.
The main talking point of the first half came as Guedes was denied a stonewall penalty as he was fouled by Saliba in the penalty area. Guedes found himself with another good chance when he went through 1 on 1 with Ramsdale but found his shot deflected wide. Despite these 2 chances, Guedes lacked the end product needed in front of goal.
Dexter Lembikisa (Replaced Nelson Semedo 68′)
Following his debut against Leeds, Lembikisa offered plenty of energy on Wolves right side but was beaten by Martinelli for the set-up to the Gunners second goal.
Daniel Podence (Replaced Joao Moutinho 68′)
In the closing stages of the game Podence attempted an overhead kick which fell wide of the post and had a shot tipped over the bar minutes later by Ramsdale.
Matheus Nunes (Replaced Toti Gomes 80′)
In his time on the pitch Nunes showed his ability through a number of forward runs but did not have the time to impact the game.