Mkhitaryan rescues point as Arsenal draw with Wolves
Gunners boss Emery praises players' 'good attitude' after late equaliser at the Emirates Stadium
11 November, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL 1 (Mkhitaryan 86)
WOLVES 1 (Cavaleiro 13)
SUBSTITUTE Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench to grab a fortuitous late equaliser and deny Wolves a famous victory at the Emirates this afternoon (Sunday).
The visitors had pounced on an error by Granit Xhaka to take a first-half lead. Not for the first time this season the midfielder gave the ball away in a dangerous position, allowing Ivan Cavaleiro to spring an attack. The winger raced forward and exchanged passes with Raul Jimenez before tapping home from close range on 13 minutes.
Arsenal continued their trend under Unai Emery of being a better team in the second half, albeit, on this occasion, only just.
Lucas Torreira forced a solid save from Rui Patricio with a vicious effort from all of 20 yards, before Hector Bellerin went close as the home side searched for an equaliser. The Gunners’ leading scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, also squandered a golden chance – hitting the post from just five yards out when it seemed easier to score.
With the clock ticking down it looked like Cavaleiro’s close-range finish was going to be enough to secure the Black Country club their most eye-catching victory since returning to the Premier League this season.
But in the 86th minute Mkhitaryan’s deep cross to the back post evaded everyone and went straight past Patricio to pull the scores level and stretch Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 matches in all competitions.
In a frantic finish Wolves twice almost snatched the win. First, Adama Traoré raced clear only to see his effort well saved by Bernd Leno. Then 18-year-old substitute Morgan Gibbs-White went even closer, hitting the underside of the bar with an audacious effort.
After the game Emery put the chances his team gave away late on down to their desire to win the game.
“Wolves worked very well, and they were very organised,” he said. “They had chances in the last minute because our mentality was still to win. And to win the game we had to take risks.
“I am happy with every player because they worked hard, and had a good attitude. It’s disappointing not to win the game, of course, but we tried, and we took risks. Now we must focus on the next game.”
ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac (Mkhitaryan, 76), Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi (Guendouzi, 45), Ozil (Ramsey, 75), Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Substitutes not used: Cech, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah.
WOLVES: Rui Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Joao Moutinho, Neves, Jonny, Helder Costa (Traoré, 75), Jimenez (Gibbs-White, 85), Cavaleiro (Jota, 61).
Substitutes not used: Ruddy, Saïss, Vinagre, Dendoncker.