WTTGT Reporter: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
ARSENAL 1-1 WOLVES
Arsenal missed the chance to go fourth in the Premiership after being held at home by ten-man Wolves thanks in part to a heroic goalkeeping display from Wayne Hennessey.
Arsenal made four changes to the team who beat Aston Villa last time out with Johan Djourou making a rapid recovery from a hamstring injury to take his place at right back in place of Francis Coquelin, there were also starts for Alex Song, Tomas Rosicky and the match winner at Villa Park Yossi Benayoun.
It took only eight minutes for the gunners to take the lead after Benayoun’s inch perfect pass found Gervinho who had time to take the ball around Wayne Hennessey and slot home for his fourth of the season.
Thomas Vermaelen then got down the left after a neat one-two with Benayoun but saw his shot blocked by Roger Johnson, another swift attack from hosts presented a half chance for Robin van Persie but he rushed his shot which didn’t trouble Hennessey.
Wolves’ right back Ronald Zubar got in behind the Arsenal defence but couldn’t pick out a teammate. Before van Persie forcefully got past Johnson and his left footed strike was well saved by Hennessey.
The visitors grabbed an equaliser through Steven Fletcher after a corner fell to Stephen Hunt whose effort was deflected into the Scottish forwards’ path and he instinctively nodded past Wojciech Szczesny.
Half-time ended all square with the hosts frustrated after failing to build on Gervinho’s early strike.
The gunners started the second half on the front foot looking to regain the lead, but for all their neat approach work they failed to test Hennessey. Record chaser van Persie did finally force a save from the Welshman as his free-kick was tipped over the bar, from the resulting corner the ball broke to Rosicky whose cross was met by Per Mertesacker but his header was well saved by Hennessey.
Substitute Aaron Ramsey forced the ball to Rosicky who shot wide, Nenad Milijas was then shown a straight red for a tackle on Arteta, van Persie was again denied by the stubborn Wolves defence.
He was then denied twice in quick succession by Hennessey first from a free-kick then the Dutchman tried to catch the keeper out at the near post but the Welshman managed to get his leg to the ball.
But the Wolves keeper kept the best save for the 89th minute, when he raced out to deny Vermaelen from close range.
With six minutes of injury time Arsenal huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Wolves defence and a goalkeeper in inspired form, as the Gunners failed to capitalise on results from Boxing Day.
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