Premier League

Arsenal 2- 1 Wolves: Player ratings as Gunners strike late in comeback win

Jamie Spencer
Getting the win meant everything to Alexandre Lacazette
Getting the win meant everything to Alexandre Lacazette / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Arsenal secured a late comeback win over Wolves thanks to a dramatic 95th minute Jose Sa own goal forced by Alexandre Lacazette, which now leaves them just one point off the Premier League top four with two games in hand on Manchester United above them.

The Gunners trailed for most of the game at the Emirates Stadium after Hwang Hee-chan gave Wolves an early lead. But Nicolas Pepe equalised late on, before Lacazette went on to complete the turnaround deep into stoppage time.

Wolves had flexed their muscles straight from kick-off when Romain Saiss flicked the ball into the net from a corner. VAR came to Arsenal’s rescue on that occasion, ruling it offside, but there was nothing to save them when Hwang latched onto Gabriel’s blind back pass.

Moments later, Raul Jimenez snatched at a golden chance to extend the lead. Arsenal were on the ropes at that stage and only 12 minutes were on the clock, but the Gunners were able to gain a foothold and started to ask questions of a resilient Wolves.

Martin Odegaard looked to get the hosts going by pulling the strings, although peppering the Wolves goal only resulted in one shot on target by half-time thanks to a combination of wayward finishing and/or timely blocks. At the break, Sa closing down Gabriel Martinelli as the Brazilian tried to lift it up and over was about the closest they had come.

Soon after the restart, only a smart save from Aaron Ramsdale stopped Hwang from getting another. Arsenal, meanwhile, still struggled to find the target when Lacazette fired high and wide on the spin in the penalty area.

Lacazette did get one on target as the game ticked into the final 20 minutes but Sa was equal to it. At that stage, it looked as though Arsenal’s chances of getting something were ebbing away, until Odegaard’s defence-splitting pass found Eddie Nkektiah, who in turned found Pepe. The Ivorian’s turn and finish showed the kind of clinical quality that fans haven’t seen often enough.

Both sides traded more chances, but it was left for the talismanic Lacazette to steal the headlines when he fired across the goal with only seconds left. Sa could only parry the off-target effort into the goal.

Arsenal player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Gabriel was guilty of a costly error
Gabriel was guilty of a costly error / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) - 7/10 - Left in no man's land by Gabriel's back pass. Made a key save to deny Hwang a second goal after half-time.

Cedric Soares (RB) - 5/10 - Largely held his own but didn't get forward with much effectiveness. Tactically sacrificed later on.

Ben White (CB) - 5/10 - Didn't cover himself in glory when Wolves broke the deadlock and could have been better with the ball.

Gabriel (CB) - 4/10 - Guilty of gifting Wolves their early goal.

Kieran Tierney (LB) - 6/10 - More of an attacking contributor than Cedric on the other side, but not by much.

2. Midfielders

Granit Xhaka was disappointing
Granit Xhaka was disappointing / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Thomas Partey (CM) - 7/10 - Arsenal were able to exert some control after a shaky start because he was good on both sides of the ball.

Granit Xhaka (CM) - 5/10 - Off the pace and gave the ball away a few times.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - 8/10 - Looked a bright spark for the Gunners. Carved open Wolves otherwise ironclad defence for the equaliser.

3. Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette was guilty of wayward finishing
Alexandre Lacazette was guilty of wayward finishing / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Bukayo Saka (RW) - 6/10 - Sharp cutting in from the right but it didn't always lead to something meaningful.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - 8/10 - Struggled to hit the target for much of the match. But he showed his leadership when he tried to whip up the home crowd in the closing stages and forced the winner.

Gabriel Martinelli (LW) - 6/10 - Had a chance late in the first half but couldn't lift the ball over Sa before he was closed down.

4. Substitutes

Nicolas Pepe grabbed the equaliser with a fine finish
Nicolas Pepe grabbed the equaliser with a fine finish / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Nicolas Pepe (RW) - 7/10 - Made a huge impact off the bench with a perfect swivel and calm finish to get Arsenal back into it.

Eddie Nketiah (ST) - 7/10 - Laid on the equaliser for his fellow sub.

Nuno Tavares (LB) - N/A

Wolves player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Jose Sa was gutted to be beaten twice
Jose Sa was gutted to be beaten twice / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Jose Sa (GK) - 5/10 - A big save with just under 20 minutes to go kept Arsenal at bay. But it ultimately wasn't enough as he was beaten twice - the latter credited as his own goal that lost the game.

Max Kilman (CB) - 7/10 - Another impressive performance and arguably unlucky to end up on the losing side.

Conor Coady (CB) - 6/10 - Led well as always from the heart of defence. Defended well on the front foot, stepping up to win the ball.

Romain Saiss (CB) - 6/10 - Had the ball in the net early but VAR ruled it out. Had done well but lost the movement of Pepe for the equaliser.

6. Wing-backs & midfielders

Nelson Semedo had to go off early
Nelson Semedo had to go off early / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Nelson Semedo (RWB) - 6/10 - Had done well. Unfortunate to be forced off with half an hour still to play by what looked like a hamstring injury.

Ruben Neves (CM) - 6/10 - Frustrated Arsenal for much of the game but lost his grip towards the end.

Joao Moutinho (CM) - 6/10 - Again, frustrated the Gunners. Probably wasn't as good with the ball as has come to be expected.

Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) - 6/10 - Was a threat when he got forward.

7. Forwards

Hwang Hee-chan impressed with his pressing
Hwang Hee-chan impressed with his pressing / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Daniel Podence (RW) - 7/10 - A real creative spark and danger.

Raul Jimenez (ST) - 6/10 - Had a bit of a thankless task because Arsenal dominated possession but was effective as a focal point without the ball.

Hwang Hee-chan (LW) - 7/10 - Sharpest to react when Gabriel's blind back pass put him in on goal. Pressed well from the front in general.

8. Substitutes

Pedro Neto got more minutes after a long spell out
Pedro Neto got more minutes after a long spell out / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Jonny (RWB) - 6/10 - First appearance in 11 months after long-term injury.

Pedro Neto (RW) - 6/10 - Had the chance to put Wolves back in front.

Leander Dendoncker (CM) - N/A

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