Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Thursday, but the away side could have scored twice if not for some quick thinking by Thomas Partey.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal is tackled by Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on February 24, 2022. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal is tackled by Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on February 24, 2022. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Alexandre Lacazette forced a Jose Sa own goal in the dying seconds to win Arsenal’s midweek match against Wolves, but the visitors might have had a two-goal lead at half-time.

In the early stages of the contest, Romain Saiss briefly believed he’d given Wolves the lead with a flick beyond Aaron Ramsdale. But the assistant raised his flag for offside, which was confirmed after a lengthy VAR check.

After the initial corner, Thomas Partey had tracked Conor Coady into the six-yard box, and for a moment he was playing three Wolves attackers onside.

Fortunately, the midfielder reacted quickly and raced out to join the defensive line and play Saiss off. If he’d taken a fraction of a second longer, and it would have been a goal.

Keeping a good defensive line is a basic requirement for a top team, but it’s something we’ve seen Arsenal players lazily ignore on a number of occasions in recent years.

You need to show the urgency to get back in position that Partey showed here, or you will be punished.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal shoots during the warm up prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 11, 2021. (Photo by Justin Setterfield / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal shoots during the warm-up prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 11, 2021. (Photo by Justin Setterfield / Getty Images)

Partey had a good game in the end, particularly in the second half. He created three chances in the 90, completed three take-ons, won six duels and two free-kicks, as well as making 13 ball recoveries.

The totals for take-ons, duels won, free-kicks won, and ball recoveries were all the highest for any Arsenal player on the night.

But perhaps his biggest contribution to the result was away from the ball, denying Wolves an early lead.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.