Arsenal mounted a stunning comeback against Wolves, scoring two goals in the last minutes to earn a 2-1 victory that strengthened their chances of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
In Thursday’s critical battle between the top four contenders at the Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta’s side fell behind to Hwang Hee-early Chan’s goal.
In the 82nd minute, Nicolas Pepe came off the bench to equalise, but Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa diverted Alexandre Lacazette’s attempt into his own net in the final seconds.
Arsenal’s third successive league victory moved them up to fifth place and they sit just one point behind fourth placed Manchester United with two games in hand in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal’s third consecutive league victory put them up to fifth place, one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the Champions League qualifying competition with two games remaining.
Arsenal has only been surpassed by Manchester City and Liverpool in terms of league victories since September.
It’s a stunning comeback from the worst start to a season in 67 years, with three straight losses.
“There are no greater games in football,” Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney told Amazon Prime. It’s the kind of game you’d watch as a kid, and to be a part of it is fantastic.”
Wolves, who are still in seventh place, were thwarted once more by Arsenal, only two weeks after the Gunners’ 1-0 victory at Molineux.
Wolves player Ruben Neves was irritated by Arsenal’s extended celebrations at the final whistle on that occasion, claiming it was as if they had won the league rather than simply three points.
As Arsenal cavorted around the pitch at the end of another exhilarating victory, Neves must have had a sense of déjà vu.
Wolves had the upper hand at first, and they were denied an opener when Romain Saiss scored from a cross by Neves, only for the offside flag to be raised.
Arsenal’s escape was confirmed by a VAR check on that occasion, but they weren’t so lucky in the 10th minute.
In a game over Arsenal in November 2020, Jimenez cracked his head following an aerial confrontation with David Luiz.
The Mexican striker was making his first appearance at the Emirates since suffering a horrible injury that forced him to miss eight months of football.
– AN EXTREMELY DRAMATIC FINALE –
So it was only fitting that Jimenez was involved in the first goal, putting Gabriel under pressure and forcing the Arsenal defender to deliver a poor back-pass to Aaron Ramsdale.
Before the ball could reach Ramsdale, Hwang pounced to gain possession, and the South Korean tapped home from a close angle.
It was Hwang’s first goal for Wolves since October, and it brought an end to a 10-game goalless streak in all competitions for the former Leipzig striker.
After Daniel Podence’s ball opened up the creaky Arsenal defence, Jimenez should have doubled Wolves’ lead moments later, but he fired wide from the edge of the box.
Arsenal eventually showed flashes of life after a sluggish start, and Max Kilman had to parry Lacazette’s goal-bound attempt.
Lacazette hooked a close-range effort just wide after Bukayo Saka’s cross. Gabriel Martinelli then poked a close-range effort narrowly wide.
After being booed off at halftime, Arsenal almost went further down as Hwang raced onto Podence’s pass and hammered a shot that deflected wide.
Wolves had one of the best defensive records in the Premier League this season, but even their toughness couldn’t stave off Arsenal’s bombardment as the game progressed.
In a brilliant move, Arteta substituted Pepe late in the game, and the Ivorian winger equalised in the 82nd minute.
Another of Arteta’s substitutions, Eddie Nketiah, cut his pass back for Pepe, who swept a clinical finish past Sa for his first league goal of the season.
Pedro Neto of Wolves squandered a wonderful chance to win it by firing wide of the far post.
Lacazette exchanged passes with Pepe before hammering a drive that deflected in off Sa’s outstretched palm deep into stoppage time, and Arsenal made him pay.