Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: Goals from Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard take Gunners to top of table

Report and free match highlights as goals from Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard late in each half were enough to take Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Wolves at Molineux

By Adam Bate, Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

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Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Wolves at Molineux with goals from Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard late in each half.

Trossard's sliced effort in the final minute of the first half found the top corner of the net and Mikel Arteta's side kept Wolves at bay until Odegaard forced home in stoppage time. The victory takes them one point clear of Manchester City having played an extra game.

After that shock home defeat to Aston Villa was followed up by European elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday, the Gunners were under pressure to produce the win that would take them top and bring some momentum back to their season.

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Player ratings

Wolves: Sa (6), Doherty (5), S Bueno (6), Kilman (7), Toti (6), H Bueno (6), Doyle (6), Traore (6), Gomes (7), Chirewa (6), Hwang (6).

Subs used: Lemina (6), Ait-Nouri (6), Sarabia (6).

Arsenal: Raya (7), White (7), Gabriel (7), Saliba (7), Kiwior (6), Rice (8), Odegaard (7), Havertz (6), Saka (6), Jesus (7), Trossard (7).

Subs used: Martinelli (6), Partey (6).

Player of the match: Declan Rice.

Wolves were severely depleted by injuries, handing a first start to forward Tawanda Chirewa and naming 15-year-old Wes Okoduwa among the substitutes, but they were competitive enough throughout with Joao Gomes seeing his shot hit the post with the scores level.

The result remained in the balance until the end but Arsenal's impressive defence, such a big factor in this title tilt, held firm before Odegaard added late gloss to the delight of the travelling support. Wolves stay 11th. It is Arsenal who now lead the way.


How Arsenal bounced back

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Wolves had plenty of the ball, even if it seldom left their half, the plan seemingly being to retain possession in the hope that it would tire out their illustrious opponents who had endured that Champions League disappointment in Munich.

It worked for much of the first half, with the hosts going closest to finding the breakthrough before it came - Gomes' shot from a narrow angle being palmed onto the frame of the goal by David Raya. That would have put a different complexion on the night.

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Team news headlines

  • Injuries to Matheus Cunha and Nelson Semedo accounted for two of the four Wolves changes as Tawanda Chirewa earned his first Premier League start and 15-year-old Wes Okoduwa made the bench.
  • Arsenal made three changes to the team beaten by Bayern Munich in midweek as Jakub Kiwior, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus returned to the starting line-up. Gabriel Martinelli and Jorginho were on the bench.

Arsenal were restricted to shots from the edge of the box early on with Declan Rice going close, but it took something unusual to beat Jose Sa. Gabriel Jesus showed good strength to hold off Matt Doherty and when the ball came to Trossard he sliced it into the top corner.

The second half was a stop-start affair, Arsenal pushing for a second but wary of pushing too hard given that they already had the advantage. Wolves appeared content to stay in the game in the hope of salvaging an unlikely point late in the piece.

Player of the match: Declan Rice

"It's been workmanlike rather than wonderful but he's typified that defiance not to get beaten." - Sky Sports' Alan Smith at Molineux

Mario Lemina came on to play up front and did fizz a shot at Raya after breaking the offside trap. O'Neil then sent on Rayan Ait-Nouri and Pablo Sarabia, their introduction serving to lift the home crowd as Arteta's team became a little nervy in trying to hold on.

Thomas Partey came on for Jesus to make the intentions clear but it was Arsenal who took advantage when the game opened up, Odegaard beating Sa at the second attempt.

This potentially awkward assignment negotiated, the hope will be that the victory shifts the pressure back onto their rivals in the Premier League title race.

'Arsenal's most important win'

"There's an argument that's Arsenal's biggest win of the season, their most important," Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports.

"When you're winning 5-0 away from home, it's easy. Everyone wants the ball.

"When you're under the cosh and have lost two, who wants the ball? That's where they had that little bit of character today.

"You get an element of luck - they played against a Wolves side decimated by injuries. But that happens sometimes and you have to take advantage of it.

"Now they can build on it. I'm sure there will be a better performance against a Chelsea side which lost in the [FA] Cup today. Good time to be playing them. Then they go to Spurs on Sunday.

"At this time of the season it's about grinding it out and that's what Arsenal did so well. Vital three points."

Arteta: 'This is where we want to be'

Mikel Arteta was particularly pleased with his players’ resilience against Wolves

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports:

"At the moment, I can't tell you what the difference is. At the moment, we are fighting for the league again.

"We've had our first experience in the Champions League for a lot of those boys. We've come quite far, not as far yet as we want but we want to still improve a lot.

"This is where we want to be [at the top of the table]. We lost it last week at home to Aston Villa.

"We didn't deserve to lose it, but we're top now at least for a day so let's see what happens.

"We're going to have to earn the win on Tuesday against Chelsea. We'll give it a real go."

O'Neil: 'They are a difficult team to play'

Gary O’Neil was proud of his Wolves players for the display they produced against Arsenal

Wolves boss Gary O'Neil told Sky Sports:

"Although we were missing key players we had some energy across the pitch and we tried to use that to our advantage.

"We had a couple of good moments but if you look at the stats you see how good they defend.

"Gabriel and Saliba are really good and very physical. We got in some good crossing areas and almost went 1-0 ahead when we hit the post but they are a difficult team to play when you have no attackers. We tried to use our pressing.

"That was a progression tonight. It was a good performance from Hugo [Bueno] and a great debut for Tawanda [Chirewa]. Tommy Doyle was great too.

"I'm sure all the Wolves fans would love to have all our players available at the moment, playing free-flowing attacking football but that's just not what we have now.

"I'm disappointed we couldn't put points on the board because it would have been massive against Arsenal but I'm proud of the performances."

Gunners' defence is key

  • Arsenal have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last six Premier League away games, only Chelsea in December 2008 and Manchester United in February 2009 (both 7) have enjoyed longer such runs in the competition's history.
  • Arsenal have won 11 of their 13 Premier League games in 2024 (D1 L1), while they've opened the scoring in 25 different top-flight matches this term, last doing so more often in 2004-05 (30).
  • Arsenal have recorded 15 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, at least five more than any other side, while it's their most in a single campaign in the competition since 2015-16 (18).

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What's next?

Arsenal host Chelsea in a London derby on Tuesday April 23, kick-off 7.30pm.

Wolves are in action against Bournemouth next on Wednesday April 24, kick-off 7.45.

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