JOAO MOUTINHO skipped through the puddles to break his Molineux duck with a screamer to end Wolves’ eight-match winless league streak – on a night when Arsenal went quackers!
Then dedicated his first home goal to his recovering Wolves team-mate Raul Jimenez who was watching from the sidelines.
Unfortunately for Mikel Arteta that’s exactly where David Luiz and goalie Bernd Leno ended up as Arsenal imploded to end this crazy encounter with nine men following two utterly avoidable red cards!
The Gunners looked in control when Nicolas Pepe fired them in front after half an hour but David Luiz got himself in a tangle with countryman Willian Jose to concede a penalty and earn his marching orders.
New dad Ruben Neves slotted home from the spot and, after Moutinho’s belter, Leno left his goal and left Arsenal with nine men when he handled yards outside his area to deny Adama Traore a clear scoring goalscoring opportunity.
This was Wolves’ 250th Premier League match and the 100th top-flight meeting between two of England’s most iconic clubs but few before had been as eventful!
Arsenal arrived at Molineux unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games and brimming with confidence.
Wolves were at the other end of the scale, winless in their last eight league games – Nuno’s worst run since he arrived at the club in 2017 and yet somehow his patched-up side prevailed.
It took Arsenal less than a minute to suss out Wolves’ weakness when Thomas Partey clipped a searching pass over makeshift left-back Max Kilman’s head.
Saka sped clear and controlled with his left thigh before firing a left foot shot which bounced off the far post with Rui Patricio helpless.
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Saka was sizzling and thought he had scored after nine minutes when Rob Holding flicked a header on to Alexandre Lacazette who rolled it back to the edge of the box.
The winger slammed a sensational shot beyond Patricio for what he thought was his third goal on the spin away from home – until a VAR check showed Lacazette’s right foot had strayed fractionally offside in the build-up.
“It’s a f***ing warning, let’s go,” yelled Wolves’ skipper Conor Coady, more in hope than any real conviction because Arsenal were total command and it took a sensational reaction save from Patricio to touch a Nicolas Pepe thunderbolt onto his crossbar to deny the Gunners winger.
Wolves’ defending had been harem scarem at best and they finally folded after 32 minutes.
Semedo will hang his head in shame at his part in it. The former Benfica and Barcelona right back could yet cost £35million with add-ons but he failed to nail Pepe with two feeble challenges.
And the Ivorian made the most of the reprieve as he calmly nut-megged Neves before curling a stunning right footer into the far corner of the Wolves net for his third goal in three away games.
That should have been the cue for Arsenal to cruise through to the break – instead they dropped a clanger to throw Wolves a lifeline.
Once again David Luiz was the fall-guy as he undid all his good work against Manchester United at the weekend to show the other side of his game.
The Gunners were guilty of being caught square when Daniel Podence drove forward to release Wolves new striker Willian Jose.
Luiz gave chase to his fellow Brazilian but was on the wrong side of the striker and accidentally clipped his heel as he got dangerously close to send the Wolves man tumbling.
It was a stonewall penalty and there was double trouble once VAR confirmed Luiz had made no attempt to play the ball.
Accidental or not – the laws are clear that if you don’t attempt to play the ball you are a goner!
With Arsenal reduced to 10 men Ruben Neves stepped up with a spring in his step and expertly dispatched the ball into the top corner.
Arteta replaced Lacazette with Gabriel in an attempt to batten down the hatches for the expected Wolves storm.
But he could have packed his side with defenders and defensive midfielders and he still couldn’t have stopped Wolves’ winner.
Four minutes after the break Joao Moutinho found himself in space 30 yards out and rifled in a quite sensational right foot shot which flew by Leno’s despairing dive to crash in off the inside of the post.
What a time to score his first goal at Molineux in all competitions at the 61st attempt!
More misery was to follow for Arteta as Arsenal’s recent run came to an abrupt end as his side ended the night with nine men after goalie Bernd Leno also saw red.
He rashly raced from his line to try and cut out Semedo’s through ball to Traore but a wicked skid off the turf saw him divert the ball with his right arm yards outside his box.
Although he did his best to disguise it he knew he was guilty as he marched off – then had to told to wait by the tunnel until VAR confirmed what he already knew!
It was another bizarre chapter in yet another unexpected twist in this strangest of all title races, as Arteta had to send on reserve goalie for Nicolas Partey as the Gunners ended the game with nine men.
Not that Wolves were complaining.