Arsenal won their first game in six in all competitions on Thursday, with defender Gabriel scoring the only goal in a 1-0 triumph over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.
The Brazilian scored from close range in the 25th minute to seal a fairly forgettable match in which Arsenal finished with ten men after Gabriel Martinelli was sent off for two violations in a matter of seconds with 20 minutes remaining.
Wolves struggled to create clear chances, and substitute Chiquinho’s effort was pushed off the line as the closest they came to equalising.
Daniel Podence was denied by a fine save by Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, but it was a disappointing night for Wolves, who were looking for their fourth consecutive league victory.
Arsenal moved up to fifth place in the Premier League table with 39 points from 22 games, while Wolves remained in eighth place.
Arsenal’s win came at the right time to strengthen their chances of finishing in the top four, but it did not appear likely at the start as Wolves dominated the opening exchanges.
However, Arsenal seized the lead in a messy manner when Alexandre Lacazette pushed Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and flicked the ball over to Gabriel, who converted from close range.
Wolves, who have only scored 19 league goals this season, had plenty of possession but rarely looked like adding to their total.
Martinelli’s red card, Arsenal’s fourth in 2022, was the night’s major talking point.
I’ve never seen a red card like this in the 18 years I’ve been in this league,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.
When asked about his team’s poor disciplinary record, Arteta stated that they cannot continue to end games with 10 men.
“We know that playing with 10 men in this league isn’t going to get us enough points, let alone the points we want, and we have to stop it,” the Spaniard said.
“However, to be fair, it’s difficult to find more arguments and ways to convey that to the players.” Everyone says this is the most disciplined team they’ve seen in the last 15 years, but we still get red cards for other things.”
The Brazilian striker shoved Podence as the Wolves midfielder attempted a quick throw-in, then ran down and fouled Chiquinho as well.
As Martinelli watched in bewilderment, referee Michael Oliver issued a yellow card, then another, for the two fouls.