That feels better doesn’t it?
Imagine the atmosphere… My throat would have been wrecked – by half time!
It seems ages ago now, but we could have been three nil down after ten minutes. Kilman at left back was like a rabbit in the headlights.
Did anyone in our back four look better than in a back five? We looked nervous and uncomfortable. It was only a matter of time before we conceded, and an ugly goal it was too. Semedo, Neves and Coady were poor and Patricio had no chance.
Confidence must have been rock bottom.
Gradually though Wolves started to change the balance of play. Neves influence was able to bring the four players ahead of him into the game. Neto and Traore had good pace but were only able to earn a corner at best. Our other two forwards were up the middle and their combination turned the game dramatically.
A red card and penalty put the nerves of Neves to the test. His strike was perfect and remarkably we were level at half time.
From that moment on we suddenly had belief. Something that has not been in much evidence, on and off the pitch, lately. Let’s just hope that we can carry that forward.
Just as surprising at being level was the nature of our winning goal. Moutinho did something we have never seen him do before. An impression of Vitinha, a thirty yard screamer. A pinch yourself moment. You could even imagine the Billy Wright Stand exploding at that one.
We started to look more like the Wolves we love to see. MOTM Jose led the line magnificently and deserved to get on the end of a Traore cross. After Arsenal went down to nine men we could relax a bit more and Traore enjoyed himself. It was really nice to see us play with more confidence. Neves, Neto and Semedo were seeing more of the ball and Moutinho improved his passing stats no end.
Everything was not bad before the game and equally everything is not good after it, but the points were needed and hopefully our confidence will have improved.
A much needed three points in what was a crazy game from start to finish. We rode our luck at times but it feels so good to finally win again and hopefully it can everyone a massive confidence boost.
We could have easily been 3-0 down within the first 20 minutes, we were defending horribly and Arsenal were causing major problems through the flanks. Kilman especially was struggling early on but playing out of position against an in-form Bukayo Saka, it was always going to be tough.
Their goal came from many different errors. Semedo originally losing the ball, then failing to defend the 1v1 situation and once Nicolas Pepe got past him, Neves got beaten far too easily and Coady just turned to his side for whatever reason.
Our approach in an attacking sense was good but defensively there were a lot of worrying moments in the first 45 but I believe some of that was down to personnel and having no proper left back didn’t help.
The penalty was the correct decision, David Luiz caught Willian José slightly but with the Brazilian forward running through, it was clearly enough to trip him as he had no idea how close the defender was to him so I don’t see why he would dive. The red card with the law as it is, is correct however harsh it may look. Another one where the rule may need looking at but we have had things go against us at times this season so it was nice to get a bit of luck.
Fantastic penalty from Neves to put us in a good position going into half time. We came out very positive which was important, we got a goal from it and what a goal it was. We don’t get many from Joao Moutinho but when we do they aren’t bad are they, and this one was a wonder strike. I’m so glad for him because he’s had some criticism this season, from myself included, which has been deserved as he has been below par for his standards but tonight he was much better.
I would have liked us to get a third to kill the game but Arsenal barely threatened in the second half and it was also important to keep the ball and not do anything stupid. There was zero doubt over Leno’s red card, I have absolutely no idea what he was attempting but I think anyone would panic with Adama Traore running towards them.
Boly was exceptional at the back, our best defender in the game by far. Moutinho was much improved, Neto and Adama were causing so many problems to their full backs in the second half, something I want to see more of from Adama. Willian José also looked good again and I really hope he’ll get his first goal for us soon.
Apart from the shaky defending for the majority of the first half, everything else was good and there were a lot of positives. We threw the game away against 10 man Villa earlier in the season so it was nice to see us control the second half like we did. We did what was required and hopefully that’ll give us a boost going into the next few games.
“Can we play you every week?”
What a relief. You could measure the effect on the Richter scale around Wolverhampton last night.
I was very pleased to see the intent from Nuno in his team selection. Dendoncker deserved to be left out, though it was with some trepidation that Neves and Moutinho would be together in midfield. Little did I know that they would combine so well and also get the goals to seal victory.
We were well overdue a little luck. I think we got it!
No one could see this result, after half an hour’s play, when Arsenal deservedly took the lead. In fact, they could easily have been 3-0 up. A goal post and a great save from Rui to thank for that. We did ride our luck and it was good to see us breaking frequently to attack ourselves. I guess this is what playing a back four does for you?
It’s a strange fact that so many players can have off days together and then a few days later can be all right on the ball – Patricio, Neves, Moutinho, Podence and Traore all showed us a new lease of life, when we least expected it. This became more obvious in the second half.
Luiz was a little unlucky to be sent off. Definitely a penalty as Jose was lining up his shot on goal. Of course, Luiz should have seen red in the last game too, for wreckless play! What a penalty by Neves, cool as you could be and, somehow, we go in at half time level!
It’s fair to say we came out for the second half all guns blazing.
After a few minutes, Moutinho picks up the ball 32 yards out, following a good move from Wolves. I didn’t expect him to shoot, but what a strike. Fortunate to be level, we now find ourself leading.
We made good use of the extra man and Arsenal spent most of this half on the back foot. Wolves mounted attack after attack, but could not find another. Arsenal remained in the game and despite going down to nine men with 18 minutes to go, they also counter attacked towards the end to keep the tension.
Yes, after our recent run, it was a relief to hear the final whistle.
We actually won a league game!
If this is a turning point, then the season is far from over with so many teams bunched around 6th to 14th place. I really do like the look of Jose. He adds so much of what’s been lacking without Jimenez.
Neto and a Podence had good games. Neves and Moutinho enjoyed the extra time and space in the second half. Semedo was excellent and appears to be improving with each game. Kilman had a torrid time at full back.
My man of the match was Moutinho. Best player I’ve ever seen at Wolves. He’s been in a poor run of form, but class really is permanent and what a great goal.
All the luck that has deserted us in the past few weeks suddenly turned as we came up against a whirling Arsenal start who for fifteen minutes or so looked like Real Madrid and Barcelona combined.
A disallowed goal, woodwork struck twice and we were clinging on but to their great credit, Wolves stayed strong and gradually improved almost everywhere.
Kilman struggled but that is hardly surprising for a centre half being asked to play left back against one of the young England players of the season thus far. Semedo however gives me kittens! Great going forward but defensively he is frightening at times.
But all is well that ends well and very little has given me greater pleasure this season than seeing David Luiz getting a deserved red for his latest cynical foul that he has made a career of making them look accidental.
A brilliant penalty and even better strike from the Portuguese pair who the keyboard warriors will have you believe can’t play together sealed the deal.
Whilst still mainly on the front foot, Wolves then gave a fifteen to twenty minute master class of how to keep the ball and never looked in danger.
This was a game where we could have crumbled but we dug deep, came out fighting and ultimately finally came out smiling. Nuno had a dream.