Wolves tactical change causes Arsenal havoc after early sickening injury
Wolves deployment of four at the back loosened the shackles on their exciting forwards as Arsenal were defeated 2-1, but the match was marred by a sickening head injury sustained by Raul Jimenez in the first half.
Both sides crafted an early opportunity through quick counter-attacks, but the game was soon put on pause after a sickening head clash.
Raul Jimenez and David Luiz collided as they both attempted to meet a corner in full flow. Both players received extensive treatment as the delay surpassed the 10 minute mark.
Luiz was patched up and able to continue, but Jimenez appeared to have come off worse and was stretchered off as players and fans alike hoped for the best.
The tempo understandable took a while to pick up, but once it did, Wolves took full advantage.
Adama Traore got half a yard on Kieran Tierney, and did not disappoint when picking out the onrushing Leander Dendoncker in the box.
The Belgian crashed a header off the bar, but Pedro Neto was quickest to react and rifled his close range effort home via a deflection.
Arsenal immediately hit back to ensure the lead was short-lived.
A short corner routine freed Willian, who in turn delivered an inch-perfect cross for fellow Brazilian Gabriel.
The centre-half made no mistake and powered his header past Rui Patricio to bring parity back to the scores.
⚽️ Gabriel ends a run where the away side had scored the previous 6 PL goals at Emirates Stadium (Sheffield Utd, Leicester, Aston Villa x3, Wolves) pic.twitter.com/Ey6J2zmAln
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 29, 2020
Wolves’ heads did not drop, and soon their advantage was restored.
Traore and Neto’s mazy runs proved too difficult for Arsenal’s midfield to stop, with the Portuguese forcing Bernd Leno into a smart stop following his strike.
Daniel Podence was the most alert man in the vicinity, and nipped in ahead of his marker to slot home after superb work to lift the ball over Gabriel’s attempted tackle.
10 minutes of time were added on following the extended earlier delay, but neither side could find the cutting edge as the scores remained 2-1 at the break.
Adama Traore (3) created more chances than Arsenal (2) in the first half.
A nightmare to defend against. pic.twitter.com/R7oIB4PoD8
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 29, 2020
David Luiz was replaced by Rob Holding to start the second half. The decision to leave him on following the head clash was a curious one, especially as Luiz was seen with blood flowing down his forehead beneath his bandaging as the half wore on.
Chances came and went for Bukayo Saka and Neto, with the latter’s attempt seeing Gabriel receiving treatment after taking the shot square in his face.
Willian floated a free kick just over the crossbar, but a fourth goal in the match seemed an inevitability as both defences continued to creak.
Substitute Holding almost pulled the Gunners level after neat interplay involving Saka down the left.
The youngster chipped a lovely ball to the far post, but Holding couldn’t quite reach the apex of the delivery and could only loop his header over the bar.
The hosts were in the ascendancy, but sharpness of movement and crispness of touch continued to desert their lacklustre forwards.
Wolves reverted to their customary back three in the hopes of seeing out the game. In truth, Arsenal offered little in the late stages as Wolves emerged victorious via a 2-1 scoreline.