Arsenal break from the norm in Wolves win but one key concern remains

On target: Martin Odegaard celebrates putting Arsenal 2-0 up early against Wolves (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
On target: Martin Odegaard celebrates putting Arsenal 2-0 up early against Wolves (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has been moaning about Arsenal’s attack being stuck in “traffic” this season, but after 15 minutes here you assumed they were going to cruise to victory against Wolves.

The Gunners started at a canter and they were at their flowing best to score twice inside the opening 15 minutes.

But what started as a comfortable afternoon ended as a nervy one. Matheus Cunha pulled a goal back for Wolves with four minutes of normal time to go, breathing life into a match that should have been dead and buried long before that.

Arsenal will partly blame Lady Luck for that, with both Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah hitting the woodwork.

The Gunners, however, also have themselves to blame as they took their foot off the gas following their blistering start.

Wolves’ goal was certainly Arsenal’s doing, with Oleksandr Zinchenko caught in possession inside his own box. Cunha took full advantage as he arrowed the ball into the top corner.

There will be positives and negatives for Arteta to take from this win. He will be frustrated by how Arsenal let Wolves back into the game, but their fast start was encouraging and a break from the norm this season.

Before Saturday, Arsenal had failed to score in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season - but against Wolves they managed to find the net twice in that time, hitting them before they had a chance to settle.

The Gunners’ two goals were both brilliantly worked too, with the first coming after good play on the right between Gabriel Jesus and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Bukayo Saka was eventually played in and he finished well off his weaker foot.

Five minutes later, Arsenal were two goals to the good and it felt like game over. If the first goal was good, this one was even better.

Jesus and Zinchenko combined, with the Ukrainian cutting through a sea of bodies to pick out Martin Odegaard. The Arsenal captain hit the cut-back first time and found the bottom corner.

The game, unsurprisingly, lulled after that and that will be the one concern for Arteta. His side must be ruthless when in such positions.

The win, though, was a big one for Arsenal as they are now four points clear at the top of the Premier League, with the rest of their rivals not in action until Sunday.

One other concern for Arteta was that Tomiyasu limped off towards the end, with the Japan international going down clutching his calf.