Premier League
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Arsenal 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Mkhitaryan rescues Gunners

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Arsenal v Wolves
Ivan Cavaleiro has scored two of Wolves' 12 Premier League goals this season

Arsenal boss Unai Emery said his side's slow start to games is an area they need to improve after they came from behind to draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

The visitors had taken the lead in the first half through Ivan Cavaleiro's close-range finish before Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a late equaliser.

Arsenal, along with Cardiff, are the only two sides in the Premier League yet to be leading at half-time in any of their matches so far this season.

"Maybe [starting slow is] one thing we can improve but that comes naturally in our work," Emery said.

"The team played with character and we had chances to draw before our goal. We also continued to look for ways to create and to win the game but then we drew.

"In the last five or 10 minutes, we had the same idea with the risk but also thinking to win."

Arsenal 1-1 Wolves: 'We needed our goalkeeper' - Arsenal boss Emery

Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin both went close to equalising while leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post before Mkhitaryan's 86th minute cross went straight past Rui Patricio.

In a thrilling contest, Wolves almost snatched it in stoppage time when 18-year-old substitute Morgan Gibbs-White hit the bar.

The fifth-placed Gunners are three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, while Wolves remain 11th in the table.

Gunners almost pay for another slow start

Despite Mkhitaryan's equaliser, a cross which somehow found its way past Patricio, this was two points dropped as far as Arsenal were concerned.

Having started the day six points off the top, they go into the international break trailing leaders Manchester City by eight points after another slow start.

When Cavaleiro struck to leave Wolves fans dreaming of a first win on Arsenal soil for 39 years, Arsenal's defence was busy conducting an inquest into why they had conceded the first goal for the fourth successive Premier League match.

Against Leicester they roared back to win comfortably. Against Wolves it was different as the visitors proved stubborn at the back before Mkhitaryan struck.

Having drawn against Liverpool and Crystal Palace in their previous two league games, the Gunners are now without a top-flight win in three matches - proof there is much for Emery to work on despite his team's unbeaten run.

Alex Iwobi, starting a league game for the first time since 28 October, lasted until half-time before he was replaced while Mesut Ozil was also taken off as the under-par Gunners struggled against their vibrant opponents.

Arsenal's first match after the break is away at Bournemouth before back-to-back top-flight matches at home to Tottenham and away to Manchester United.

Emery will hope his side have returned to winning ways before the north London derby on 2 December.

Wolves players celebrate scoring against Arsenal
Wolves had lost their past three Premier League games

Wolves have the quality to thrive

Wolves' players were visibly hurting at the final whistle after failing to hang on for a stunning victory.

They are without a win in four top-flight games and they have much to ponder during this month's two-week break from action - most it it positive.

Having held both leaders Manchester City and Manchester United, Wolves once again proved against Arsenal they are a handful for anyone at this level.

They were a frightening force on the counter thanks to Jimenez and Helder Costa. At the back Conor Coady and Ryan Bennett frustrated Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette until Arsenal finally came alive in the closing stages.

Arsenal 1-1 Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo believes his team "can compete" after draw with Gunners

In Gibbs-White, they have an exciting young talent, while Adama Traore added more energy and pace to the forward line when he came on.

Wolves have been a refreshing addition to the Premier League but they have struggled for goals and it was their inability to add a second, when they were in control of the first half, that cost them a win their play deserved.

After testing games against Tottenham and Arsenal, Nuno Espirito Santo's side face struggling Huddersfield and Cardiff before entertaining Chelsea on 5 December.

Man of the match - Bernd Leno (Arsenal)

Bernd Leno
The fact Bernd Leno was man of the match says everything you need to know about this game. The Arsenal keeper produced a string of excellent saves - the best from substitute Diogo Jota

What they said

Arsenal boss Unai Emery: "We worked and took risks in the match. We had chances and they had chances also.

"Against Everton, when they score the first goal, you need to bring things tactically because they are very organised. You need to take a risk.

"For me the match is difficult and we needed to take chances and play tactically. Above all we needed to score. I am happy with every player because they worked and with a good attitude."

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "Coming to the Emirates and playing the way we have played, we should be proud.

"We need to speak among ourselves about what was not possible to achieve. There is a clear improvement, better defence, creating many chances and keep on working.

"Even when Arsenal equalised, the best chances were ours and they asked the referee for more time. If we had more time maybe we would have been better."

Learn from your mistakes - the stats

  • Arsenal midfielder Xhaka has made five errors leading to goals since his Premier League debut in August 2016. No other outfield player in the competition has made more in that time.
  • Cavaleiro's opening goal was the first time Wolves have taken the lead against Arsenal in a Premier League match.
  • Mkhitaryan's equaliser was his first goal at home for Arsenal in the Premier League since March, when he scored against Watford.
  • Since a run of four wins in six matches in the Premier League, Wolves are now without a win in each of their past four games in the competition.
  • After winning each of their first six matches against Wolves in the Premier League, Arsenal have only won one of the past three.
  • Arsenal have drawn three successive matches at home in all competitions for the first time since August 2012.
  • Raul Jimenez has been directly involved in seven goals in his opening 12 Premier League appearances, the most of any Wolves player after as many games in the competition.

What's next?

Arsenal return from the international break to face sixth-place Bournemouth away on Sunday, 25 November (13:30 GMT). On the same day Wolves host struggling Huddersfield (16:00 GMT).



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 19Leno
  • 2BellerínBooked at 78mins
  • 20Mustafi
  • 16Holding
  • 31KolasinacSubstituted forMkhitaryanat 76'minutes
  • 11Torreira
  • 34Xhaka
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forGuendouziat 45'minutes
  • 10ÖzilBooked at 69minsSubstituted forRamseyat 75'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 9Lacazette


  • 1Cech
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 7Mkhitaryan
  • 8Ramsey
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 49Nketiah


Formation 3-4-3

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 5Bennett
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2DohertyBooked at 71mins
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 8Neves
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 10Hélder CostaBooked at 74minsSubstituted forTraoréat 75'minutes
  • 9JiménezSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 85'minutes
  • 7CavaleiroSubstituted forJotaat 61'minutes


  • 17Gibbs-White
  • 18Jota
  • 21Ruddy
  • 27Saïss
  • 29Vinagre
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 37Traoré
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamWolves
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morgan Gibbs-White tries a through ball, but Adama Traoré is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Adama Traoré following a fast break.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Willy Boly.

  6. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  7. Post update

    Delay in match Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Matteo Guendouzi.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) right footed shot from long range on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey following a corner.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Rui Patrício.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  14. Post update

    Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by João Moutinho with a cross following a corner.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morgan Gibbs-White replaces Raúl Jiménez.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Bernd Leno.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raúl Jiménez.

  20. Post update

    Hand ball by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal).


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