Wolves 0 Arsenal 1: Despite Martinelli’s bizarre red card, Gabriel’s strike propels the Gunners to fifth place.
GABRIEL MARTINELLI was sent off for Arsenal for the fourth time in 2022 after being booked twice in a matter of seconds by Michael Oliver.
When Martinelli tried to stop Daniel Podence from throwing a quick pass in the 69th minute, Oliver waved play on.
However, when he returned to take down Wolves sub Chiquinho, Oliver deemed that both offenses merited a yellow card and dismissed the young Gunner.
As he aggressively remonstrated with fourth official Michael Salisbury, boss Mikel Arteta could not believe his eyes.
His protests, however, went unheeded, as his team’s abysmal lack of discipline once again forced them to fight with ten men.
Since Arteta took over as manager in December 2019, no team has received more red cards than Arsenal, who have had Gabriel, Gabriel Xhaka, Thomas Partey, and now Martinelli sent out.
Despite having their backs against the wall for the final 20 minutes of Molineux mayhem, they were able to hold on to a razor-thin lead and get their season back on track.
While Arteta will be concerned by his side’s failure to keep a complete complement of players on the field, he can take solace from the fact that his team has been able to keep a full complement of players on the field.
With two games in hand, Gabriel’s first-half tap-in broke Arsenal’s 444-minute goal drought, bringing them to within one point of fourth-placed West Ham.
As they fought for Ben White’s 25th minute header into the six-yard box, Wolves were sure that keeper Jose Sa had been fouled by Alex Lacazette.
However, neither man got a decisive contact on the ball, and Oliver consulted VAR Lee Mason only briefly before allowing Gabriel’s goal to stand.
After creeping up on the rails in recent weeks, it was a tremendous letdown for a Wolves team with top four ambitions of their own.
For the first time in club history, they were attempting to win their fourth consecutive Premier League game, but never really got going on a night of great anguish for Molineux supporters.
The Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, was scarcely pushed until the final few minutes, as Bruno Lage’s team lacked imagination.
When Rayan Ait-free-kick Nouri’s was turned into his own goal by Xhaka shortly after Martinelli’s red card, they thought they had finally cracked Arsenal’s resistance.
Raul Jimenez, on the other hand, had drifted offside in order to receive a light brush of his head on the ball before Xhaka’s more strong impact.
Marcal had a shot blocked by Thomas Partey early in the game, and Nelson Semedo stepped inside for a shot that flashed just wide of Ramsdale’s near post.
Arsenal, on the other hand, carried the majority of the attacking threat before closing shop with some amazing last-ditch defence.
Bukayo Saka’s cut-back found Ben White for a goal-bound effort that was blocked by Max Kilman in the 22nd minute.
Lacazette was unable to complete Cedric’s inviting cross, and Martinelli was enraged when he raced the length of the pitch with half of Wolves’ team after him only to discover that none of his teammates had joined the attack.
Lacazette’s close-range header from a Saka corner struck the arm of Conor Coady before the Frenchman fired another Saka cross straight at.
Lacazette had a chance to put the game out of reach even when they were down to ten men, but he shot wide with just Sa to beat.
Wolves, on the other hand, were unable to take advantage of the lapse in concentration, and as Arsenal erupted in jubilation at the final whistle, Bruno Lage could only think about the damage this defeat had done to his team’s aspirations.