Wolves draw piles pressure on Arsenal boss Emery
Arsenal’s winless run in the Premier League stretched to three games as Raul Jimenez’s header 14 minutes from time earned Wolves a well-deserved 1-1 draw at the Emirates on Saturday.
A week on from a foul-mouthed reaction towards the Arsenal fans as he was substituted against Crystal Palace, Gunners captain Granit Xhaka was left out of the squad by Unai Emery in an attempt to ease the tension between players and supporters.
However, there was no great upturn in the Arsenal performance with doubts growing with every passing week that Emery is the man to lead Arsenal back into the Champions League next season.
Emery also responded to the Xhaka controversy by listening to the fans’ calls for Mesut Ozil’s return as the German made just his second Premier League start of the season.
However, Ozil made little impact with Arsenal again reliant on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who replaced Xhaka as captain and opened the scoring, for inspiration.
Wolves started by far the better of the two sides, but were too often reliant on potshots from long range as Bernd Leno saved from Joao Moutinho’s free-kick before Ruben Neves’s dipping effort just did not come down in time to hit the target.
Arsenal took the lead against the run of play on 21 minutes when a low cross found Alexandre Lacazette inside the area and he teed up Aubameyang to slot home his 50th goal for Arsenal.
The goal appeared to settle the Gunners’ nerves and Rui Patricio twice had to be alert to deny Lucas Torreira and Lacazette from doubling the hosts’ advantage.
However, Wolves ended the first period as they had started by posing the greater threat and only a wonderful one-handed save from Leno prevented Matt Doherty levelling from Diogo Jota’s cut-back.
Leno was the busier of the goalkeepers after the break too as he turned another long-range Neves effort to safety.
And Wolves were finally rewarded with an equaliser when Moutinho’s looping cross into the box was headed down past Leno by Jimenez.
Ozil had the chance to make himself a hero but failed to pick out an Arsenal shirt with plenty queuing up to apply the finishing touch six minutes later.
But it was Wolves who had the best chance to snatch all three points when Jota eased through a flurry of weak Arsenal challenges in the final minute only to be denied by Leno.
The final whistle was met with boos from the disgruntled home fans and Arsenal could end the weekend six points adrift of the top four if Chelsea and Leicester win later on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
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