I bet that the Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santos can’t believe how easily his side took Arsenal apart in the first 45 minutes at Molineux last night, and the game was over as a contest. They went into the break three goals up and without Arsenal even having one shot on target in the first half.
Wolves could afford to play with the handbrake on in the second period, but Arsenal still only managed the one shot on target in the whole game, which resulted in our goal but hardly brought us back into the game. After the game Emery refused to blame the players but instead praised Wolves for carrying out their own game plan to perfection. This is what the Spaniard said when he was asked what went wrong. “Good evening.” he started. “First is the performance of the opposition. We started the game playing with control with the ball, with control with our positioning.
“Also, they let us play like that in the first minutes but when we needed to get into the box with the possibility to create chances, they defended very strongly in the box. They played with the calmness to take their opportunities and the first transitions. They had a strong plan and it was perfect because they scored in one set-piece after the first important transition against us. The match was important with how teams can start winning and after I think we lost a little in the 20 minutes after the first goal. We lost our possibility to take passions in these minutes, to recover our possibilities and our chances in our game plan.
“The second goal was a set-piece and another transition killed us in this moment (for the third goal) but in the dressing room we were speaking that in the second half we need to first recover our game plan and be strong in our mind. To score a goal was our first idea and after if we can take minutes of the 90 minutes we can continue our plan.
“The second half was different but it wasn’t enough to take some points. Generally we are now disappointed, but we need to also look at all the season and we are not in our own hands now because we lost this possibility today, but we need to prepare the best as possible for Sunday’s match against Leicester. If we win, okay it’s going to be very difficult again, but another option that we can take on Sunday.”
Emery then went on to admit that Wolves were the better side and deserved the three points, despite conceding Arsenal 70% of the possession. “”But they are a good team, with good structure. Defensively they are very strong and they are doing a very good season because they have good players also. We didn’t do, in the last third attacking, some difference for score in the first half. We tried but didn’t take chances to score. I think one reason is because they worked very well defensively. We needed to be more calm and we know here it’s going to be very difficult, but we need to respect them with their moments and to be calm in the 90 minutes, impose our ideas and result against them. Really, they were better than us and they worked and played more strongly in their game plan and they beat us.”
So we lose yet again, and our place in the Top Four is now out of our hands. Who could possibly expect us to go to Leicester and win on Sunday?