Arsenal win at Wolves to keep ‘impossible’ European hopes alive
Mikel Arteta admits there's 'no room for errors' if Gunners are going to make a late Champions League charge
04 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL 2 (Saka 43, Lacazette 86)
BUKAYO Saka capped a memorable week by scoring his first ever Premier League goal as Arsenal beat Wolves 2-0 this evening (Saturday) to keep their “impossible” hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive.
The 18-year-old winger celebrated the new four-year deal that he signed on Wednesday by opening the scoring at Molineux with a sweet, left-foot volley just before the break.
“We know how good Wolves are and how tough it was going to be,” said Saka after the game. “We fought for every ball and it is good to build some momentum. It is a very big win.
“It has been a week I will remember for my whole life.”
Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to wrap up the points late on. The French forward collected fellow substitute Joe Willock’s pass before firing past Wolves keeper Rui Patricio with aplomb.
The win leaves Arsenal six points behind that elusive fifth spot in the Premier League table – which could deliver a place at European football’s top table next season.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “This was a massive win. A few weeks ago qualifying for the Champions League looked impossible.
“We have no margin for error. We know that we must try to win every game, and then we will see what happens.”
He added: “Let’s enjoy this win a little bit before we start thinking about our next game against Leicester on Tuesday.”
Wolves saw the better of the early chances this evening, and could have gone ahead within seconds of the kick-off.
Raul Jimenez launched the ball forward to Adama Traore, but Emiliano Martinez did just enough to stop the rapid winger from getting a clear shot on goal.
Arsenal’s first real chance fell to Eddie Nketiah, who hit a first-time volley in the hope of catching out the goalkeeper. But Patricio got down quickly to make a good save at his near post.
The deadlock was broken on 43 minutes when Kieran Tierney’s cross from the left, which took a nick off of Matt Doherty, reached Saka, who smashed a sublime volley into the back of the net.
Having now featured for Arteta at left-back, on the left wing, and, against Wolves, on the right wing, Saka added: “I am 18 and it has been a dream to play for this club. I have to take it game by game.
“Wherever the boss wants to put me, I want to play.”
In the 64th minute, Wolves should have equalised. Some good play between Jimenez and Diogo Jota sent Traore clear on goal. But again Martinez did just enough to put him off as Traore sent his effort over the crossbar.
The game was put to bed in the 86th minute. Willock danced down the right flank before drilling in a low cross which found Lacazette, who skipped past the outstretched foot of Conor Coady before finishing into the bottom corner for his first away goal in the Premier League since February 2019.
Arsenal could have compounded Wolves’ misery even more, but having beaten Patricio, Willock saw his effort cleared off the line by Ruben Neves.
Wolves: Patricio, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Doherty (Neto, 72), Dendoncker (Jota, 55), Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White, 89), Jonny, Jimenez, Traore
Substitutes not used: Ruddy, Joradao, Vinagre, Campana, Kilman, Burr
Arsenal: Martinez, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Soares (Bellerin, 76), Ceballos (Torreira, 83), Xhaka, Tierney (Maitland-Niles, 57), Saka (Willock, 76), Nketiah (Lacazette, 83), Aubameyang
Substitutes not used: Macey, Sokratis, Holding, Nelson