Wolves vs Arsenal: Player ratings as Joao Moutinho seals comeback to beat nine-man Gunners

Wolves 2-1 Arsenal: Pepe’s effort was cancelled out by a Neves penalty, with Moutinho hitting the winner

Karl Matchett
Tuesday 02 February 2021 19:55
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Wolverhampton Wanderers had to come from behind to beat nine-man Arsenal 2-1 and end an eight-game winless streak in the Premier League.

Bukayo Saka should have put the Gunners ahead after 40 seconds but struck the post, before seeing his effort which did hit the back of the net denied by an offside call upon a VAR review. Nelson Semedo then saw a low shot saved at the other end and Nicolas Pepe went close with a fierce strike, before that same pair of players tangled in the Wolves penalty box, Pepe emerging triumphant and bending a shot into the far corner to give Arsenal the lead just past the half-hour mark.

The Gunners looked good value for their lead but disaster struck in the final seconds of the half, David Luiz tripping Willian Jose in the box and being shown a red card, while Ruben Neves netted the resulting penalty to equalise.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table - all matches by date and kick-off time

Right after the break the game was turned on its head, with Joao Moutinho netting a long-range piledriver. Arsenal went down to nine when Bernd Leno completely lost his head, sent-off for handling outside his box with Adama Traore bearing down on him.

Here are the player ratings from the match.

Wolves

Rui Patricio - 5. A few early scares and beaten by a fine strike, but didn’t have a whole lot to do thereafter.

Nelson Semedo - 5. Was given a really tough start to the game by Pepe

Willy Boly - 5. Like most of the Wolves defence, was too slow to close down Arsenal attackers and exposed by pace.

Conor Coady - 5. Based on the first-half performance of the defence, Wolves can be grateful that Arsenal were so accommodating in getting their red cards.

Max Kilman - 4. Really struggled to shut down Arsenal’s right flank. Offered nothing going forward.

Ruben Neves - 6. Brilliant penalty. Not particularly impressive defensively, with Arsenal carving through Wolves’ midfield with regularity.

Joao Moutinho - 6. Easily beaten for the opener but hammered in a goal of his own. No pace to match the Gunners’ movement in the middle.

Adama Traore - 7. Arsenal couldn’t stop him once he got moving but Wolves are so slow to find him in space at times. His mere presence and pace caused the second red.

Daniel Podence - 6. Clever running all game long but his passing was wildly off at times. Found the perfect weight for the through-pass leading to the penalty though.

Pedro Neto - 7. Always available to take the ball and intelligent with his movement. Links play well down the channels.

Willian Jose - 6. Hard-working, won the penalty. Smacked one effort on-target but not quite gelling with his team-mates yet.

David Luiz is shown a red card for Arsenal

Arsenal

Bernd Leno - 5. A couple of routine stops. Completely panicked for the sending-off.

Hector Bellerin - 6. Struggled at times defensively but was a threat going forward too.

Rob Holding - 7. It’s probably overlooked just how solid and reliable he has been for the Gunners this season. Same again here.

David Luiz - 6. He has been in brilliant form of late and started well here…then picked up a red card to change the game entirely.

Cedric Soares - 6. Like Bellerin, was hit-and-miss defensively - but keeping up with Adama is one of the toughest jobs in football.

Granit Xhaka - 5. Loose in possession, had runners in behind him with frequency.

Thomas Partey - 7. Excellent at both launching counters with his striding runs from deep, and also stopping Wolves’ counters - often with a sneaky foul.

Bukayo Saka - 7. Lively and a threat from the outset. Should have scored at least one in the opening stages. Arsenal’s best player until they started getting them sent-off.

Emile Smith Rowe - 6. So clever at finding spaces between the lines. Could be quicker to release possession at times but usually picks the right pass in the end. Faded after a bright start.

Nicolas Pepe - 7. A real threat on the counter and scored a brilliant solo goal. Subbed after the restart.

Alexandre Lacazette - 5. On the fringes of the game in the first half and subbed at the break to bring a defender on.

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