Nine-man Arsenal implode in calamitous fashion to gift Wolves rare win


Red cards for David Luiz and Bernd Leno turned the contest on its head as Wolves fought back from 1-0 down to defeat Arsenal.

Arsenal flew out of the traps and could’ve taken a lead inside 40 seconds.

Thomas Partey’s long-ball split Wolves’ defence wide open, but Bukayo Saka’s finish swerved away and crashed into the post to hand the hosts a huge let off.

The youngster again came close moments later as Arsenal signalled their intent, this time forcing a smart low stop from Rui Patricio.

At the third time of asking the net was found, though on this occasion the offside flag prevented his early sparkling display from becoming a goalscoring one.

Wolves early threat was limited to set pieces, though neither Max Kilman nor Willy Boly could find the target after evading their markers.

After growing into the game, Nelson Semedo tried his luck from distance with Bernd Leno doing well to parry the ball away in torrential conditions.

The Portuguese full-back was rather less effective in his own half in the 32nd minute, however.

Nicolas Pepe received the ball down the right, and bulled his way through two would-be challenges from Semedo. Ruben Neves was next to attempt in vain to dispossess the Ivorian, before the winger broke the deadlock with a fine curling drive into the top corner.

On the stroke of half-time, Wolves were handed a major reprieve when the faintest of touches by David Luiz felled Willian Jose to concede a penalty and receive a red card.

Neves stepped up the spot and fired his strike high into the net to bring parity back to the scores.

Gabriel was introduced from the bench after the interval to shore up the backline, but not even he could do anything about what was to unfold.

Joao Moutinho picked the ball up fully 25 yards from goal before rifling his shot beyond Leno and in off the post to make it 2-1.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was brought on for Pepe as Mikel Arteta shuffled his pack, but with a man-disadvantage, Wolves appeared likeliest to notch the game’s fourth goal.

New signing Jose stung the palms of Leno from distance, while the pace of Adama Traore was proving increasingly difficult to contain.

Arsenal’s evening then went from bad to worse in truly bizarre fashion.

Leno misjudged a long ball over the top and swatted the ball to safety while outside his area. A red card duly followed to reduce Arsenal to nine.


The tempo reduced to walking pace in the latter stages, with Wolves content to hold what they had and Arsenal incapable of sustaining any period of possession.

Aubameyang and Saka saw late efforts blocked as the Gunners threw caution to the wind, but the task proved too difficult as the final whistle eventually blew on a 2-1 Wolves win.