Arsenal were embarrassed by a dominant first-half performance by Wolves in their Premier League clash on Wednesday night, and Unai Emery’s side ended up losing the match 3-1.
With Manchester United facing Manchester City and Chelsea dropping points against Burnley, Arsenal had the opportunity to push ahead of both of their top four rivals with a win over Wolves. It didn’t take long for that dream to die though, with a Ruben Neves free-kick, a Matt Doherty header and a Diogo Jota third making it 3-0 by half-time.
Arsenal didn’t really improve much in the second half, Wolves just stopped attacking as often. Late on, Sokratis Papastathopoulos almost sparked a comeback by heading in a Granit Xhaka corner, but a couple of missed chances in the following minutes ensured it wasn’t to be.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Bernd Leno 2
This was possibly Leno’s worst match in an Arsenal shirt so far. There wasn’t very much he could do about the opening goal, but he could’ve been a lot more commanding coming out for the second. That goal was also just moments after the goalkeeper almost palmed a save into his own net, with the woodwork bailing him out.
Then, just before half time, Leno let a shot go right under his body for Wolves’ third. He probably could’ve made the stop with his foot, the ball was that close to him.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 3
Maitland-Niles looked nowhere near as confident playing as a full-back as he has at wing-back recently. He made a couple of good recovery tackles, but only after being caught out of position in the first place. He was also caught in possession too often and didn’t create anything offensively.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 5
Sokratis was far from perfect, but he performed a lot better than the rest of the defence. He won more aerial duels than the other three combined, added a couple of clearances and tackles on top of that and scored Arsenal’s only goal of the game. Still, he was just as much a part of the defensive line that kept being caught out on set pieces.
Laurent Koscielny 3
It’s hard to remember a Koscielny performance as poor as this since his first game back against Southampton. He didn’t make any tackles or clearances, with just one interception and two aerials as the sum of his defensive efforts.
Nacho Monreal 3.5
Monreal gave away the vital free-kick for the opening goal, and though Ruben Neves moved the ball away from the actual foul to take it from a better position, it was still in a very dangerous area already. The one positive is that Monreal’s passing was at least pretty good, and he was one of just four Arsenal starters to create a chance.