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Barclays Premier League

Emirates Stadium (ATT 59,686) 27th December 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Attwell

Arsenal Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Wolves

Arsenal 1

Gervinho (8)

ft

Wolves 1

S Fletcher (38)
N Milijas (S/O 75)

Gunners frustrated by Wolves

Mick McCarthy's brave men snatch a vital point from the Emirates

Last Updated: 27/12/11 5:32pm

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Gervinho: Arsenal striker celebrates after scoring against Wolves

Gervinho: Arsenal striker celebrates after scoring against Wolves

Arsenal were frustrated by battling ten-man Wolves as they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates.

Man of the match: Wayne Hennessey for his inspired performance in the Wolves goal. Moment of the match: Robin van Persie's curling free-kick in the second-half which forced a superb save from Wayne Hennessey. Attempt of the match: Andrey Arshavin's curling effort which shaved the wrong side of the post after having left Wayne Hennessey stranded. Save of the match: Hennessey's fingertip save to deny Robin van Persie's curling free-kick. Talking point: Nenad Milijas's sending-off for a reckless challenge on Mikel Arteta. Goal of the game: Gervinho's opener, in which the striker showed good pace and composure to tuck his effort home.

Gervinho put the Gunners ahead early on when he rounded Wayne Hennessey and slotted home.

Wolves, though, punched backed through Steven Fletcher when he directed an instinctive header into the net after 38 minutes.

Nenad Milijas was dismissed after the interval for a challenge on Mikel Arteta, but a combination of brilliant goalkeeping from Hennessey and Wolves' stubbornness, meant Arsenal were unable to break them down.

After a bright start by Wolves, Arsenal broke quickly to take the lead on eight minutes.

Thomas Rosicky fed Yossi Benayoun, whose pass split the Wolves defence as Gervinho beat the offside trap to race clear.

The Ivory Coast frontman, set to soon be away at the African Cup of Nations, waited for keeper Hennessey to commit himself, before cutting back inside and then rolling the ball into the net between the two defenders on the line.

Wolves looked in danger of being overrun, as following their positive start, the visitors were forced to defend deeper and deeper.

Record

Gervinho darted clear again and fed Robin van Persie on the right side of the penalty area, but for once the Dutchman - chasing the record for goals in 2011 - was off target as he skewed the ball well wide of the far post.

Benayoun, on loan from Chelsea, was producing an all-action display and charged down the left - only to stumble over the ball when in the penalty area.

Van Persie continued to look for the opening, his chip headed over by Wolves defender Stephen Ward.

To their credit, Wolves had weathered the storm somewhat, only to then almost hit the self-destruct button when skipper Karl Henry lost the ball to Van Persie. He fed Rosicky on the edge of the box who in turn laid a pass off to Mikel Arteta and his angled drive was blocked by Ward.

Van Persie then saw his low strike turned around the post by Hennessey.

Out of nothing, Wolves were level on 38 minutes. Arsenal failed to clear a corner, which Stephen Hunt lobbed back in. His shot was deflected and Fletcher guided a header into the far corner.

Arsenal immediately went on the offensive, but Wolves were more confident and calmly saw their way through to half-time.

The Gunners upped the tempo after the restart, but failed to find a telling pass in the final third.

Complaining

In the 57th minute, Laurent Koscielny's cross struck Christophe Berra on the arm, but referee Stuart Attwell was not interested - and instead showed a yellow card to Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen for complaining.

Arsenal had a free-kick when Gervinho was bundled over by Karl Henry 22 yards out, just left of centre.

Van Persie clipped the ball towards the top corner, with Hennessey touching it over at full stretch.

Per Mertesacker's close-range header was then scrambled clear by the busy Wolves keeper.

Rosicky swept the ball wide from 20 yards after a persistent run by Koscielny.

With tempers at boiling point, Atwell brandished his red card on 75 minutes after a studs-up sliding challenge by Milijas on Arteta.

Van Persie's shot on the turn was deflected behind as Arsenal laid siege to the Wolves goal, with substitute Andrey Arshavin then clipping the outside of the post.

Hennessey pushed away another goal-bound free-kick from van Persie, before Marouane Chamakh came on for Johan Djourou to give the Gunners another attacker in the closing five minutes.

The Morocco striker clashed heads with van Persie at a corner, which left the Arsenal skipper momentarily out of action.

Vermaelen was denied by an inspired Hennessey before Wolves held out through six minutes of stoppage time.

ArsenalTeam StatisticsWolverhampton Wanderers
1Goals1
11st Half Goals1
11Shots on Target1
6Shots off Target2
9Blocked Shots3
13Corners3
5Fouls12
2Offsides2
2Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards1
88.5Passing Success71
12Tackles16
100Tackles Success62.5
73.3Possession26.7
60Territorial Advantage40
651Total Passes238
38Total Crosses7
160Lost Balls140
47Recoveries37
67.71st Half Poss.32.3
81.32nd Half Poss.18.7

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 8 22
2 Manchester City 8 17
3 Southampton 8 16
4 West Ham United 8 13
5 Liverpool 8 13
6 Manchester United 8 12
7 Arsenal 8 11
8 Swansea City 8 11
9 Tottenham Hotspur 8 11
10 Stoke City 8 11
11 Hull City 8 10
12 Aston Villa 8 10
13 Everton 8 9
14 West Bromwich Albion 8 9
15 Leicester City 8 9
16 Crystal Palace 8 8
17 Sunderland 8 8
18 Newcastle United 8 7
19 Burnley 8 4
20 Queens Park Rangers 8 4

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