Mkhitaryan rescues Arsenal against Wolves


Substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a late equaliser to stretch Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 matches and deny Wolverhampton Wanderers a famous win at the Emirates.

Ivan Cavaleiro’s close-range finish looked like securing the Black Country club their most eye-catching victory since returning to the Premier League this season.

The visitors pounced on an error by Granit Xhaka, Cavaleiro and Raul Jiminez exchanging passes before the former tapped home.

Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin both went close to equalising while leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post before Mkhitaryan’s 86th minute cross went straight past Rui Patricio.

In a thrilling contest, Wolves almost snatched it in stoppage time when 18-year-old substitute Morgan Gibbs-White hit the bar.

The fifth-placed Gunners are three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham while Wolves remain 11th in the table.

Despite Mkhitaryan’s equaliser, a cross which somehow found its way past Patricio, this was two points dropped as far as Arsenal were concerned.

Having started the day six points off the top, they go into the international break trailing leaders Manchester City by eight points after another slow start.

When Cavaleiro struck to leave Wolves fans dreaming of a first win on Arsenal soil for 39 years, Arsenal’s defence was busy conducting an inquest into why they had conceded the first goal for the fourth successive Premier League match.

Against Leicester they roared to back to win comfortably. Against Wolves it was different as the visitors proved stubborn at the back before Mkhitaryan struck.

Having drawn against Liverpool and Crystal Palace in their previous two league games, the Gunners are now without a top-flight win in three matches – proof there is much for boss Unai Emery to work on despite his team’s unbeaten run.

In addition, Arsenal, along with Cardiff, are the only two sides in the Premier League yet to be leading at half-time in any of their matches so far this season.

Alex Iwobi, starting a league game for the first time since 28 October, lasted until half-time before he was replaced while Mesut Ozil was also taken off as under-par Arsenal struggled against their vibrant opponents.

Arsenal’s first match after the break is away at Bournemouth before back-to-back top-flight matches against Tottenham and Manchester United.

Emery will hope his side have returned to winning ways before they head for Wembley for the north London derby on 2 December.

Wolves’ players were visibly hurting at the final whistle after failing to hang on for a stunning victory.

They are without a win in four top-flight games and they have much to ponder during this month’s two-week break from action – most it it positive.

Having held both leaders Manchester City and Manchester United, Wolves once again proved against Arsenal they are a handful for anyone at this level.

They were a frightening force on the counter thanks to Jimenez and Helder Costa. At the back Conor Coady and Ryan Bennett frustrated Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette until Arsenal finally came alive in the closing stages.

In Gibbs-White, they have an exciting young talent, while Adama Traore added more energy and pace to the forward line when he came on.

Wolves have been a refreshing addition to the Premier League but they have struggled for goals and it was their inability to add a second, when they were in control of the first half, that cost them a win their play deserved.

After testing games against Tottenham and Arsenal, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side face struggling Huddersfield and Cardiff before entertaining Chelsea on 5 December.


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