Gunners pile more woe on Wolves
Wenger's men flying high after comfortable win
Last Updated: April 11, 2012 9:57pm
Arsenal strengthened their bid for a third-placed Premier League finish after triumphing 3-0 over 10-man Wolves to heap more misery on the rock-bottom strugglers.
The Gunners struck twice inside a minute in the first half as Robin van Persie converted a penalty before Theo Walcott doubled their lead.
Arsene Wenger's men had been handed a spot-kick after Wolves defender Sebastien Bassong was given his marching orders in the eighth minute for bringing down Walcott in the area.
The visitors sealed the success after the break when Yossi Benayoun latched onto an Alex Song pass to fire home from the edge of the box.
The win lifts the Gunners five points clear of nearest rivals Tottenham in third place, while Terry Connor's floundering Wolves remain rooted in the basement of the standings with relegation beckoning after seven consecutive defeats.
The two early goals and Bassong's departure effectively killed the game as a contest, although the home side could not be faulted for effort with Kevin Doyle impressing as the lone striker.
Arsenal's turnaround has been remarkable as they registered a ninth win in 10 games after trailing Spurs at the start of February by eight points.
Van Persie had the first attempt on goal after his own corner had been cleared straight back to him, but the striker's low volley was comfortably dealt with by Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Matt Jarvis posed the first moment of danger to the Gunners but his probing centre just eluded Doyle at the far post.
After eight minutes Van Persie put Arsenal ahead from the penalty spot as Wolves were reduced to 10 men.
Bassong was adjudged to have brought down Walcott as he raced onto Benayoun's pass and was sent off by referee Neil Swarbrick.
Van Persie stepped up and coolly dinked the ball over Hennessey after he had dived to the right for his 34th goal of the season and first in five matches.
Wolves made an instant substitution with centre-back Christophe Berra replacing midfielder David Davis as they reverted to a 4-4-1 system.
However, they could not handle the pace of Walcott and he doubled Arsenal's lead after 10 minutes.
The England player exchanged passes with Van Persie before curling the ball past Hennessey into the corner of the net.
In a rare Wolves attack Berra had a header deflected wide from a Michael Kightly corner.
Santos screwed a shot across the face of goal but the Gunners looked to have lost some of their early intensity, such was their control of the game.
Arsenal were soon back on the offensive in the second half and Aaron Ramsey had a shot blocked by Richard Stearman after a run into the box before Mikel Arteta teed up a good chance which Van Persie fired wide.
Wolves were showing plenty of fight and a superb save from Wojciech Szczesny denied Doyle.
Jarvis sent over a perfect cross for the Republic of Ireland international but his header was palmed away by Szczesny at full stretch.
However, Benayoun ended the mini revival by making it 3-0 after 68 minutes. Milijas lost the ball in midfield and Song teed up Benayoun 20 yards out to beat Hennessey with a low drive.
Doyle had a shot blocked by Johan Djourou as Wolves searched for a consolation goal.
Arsenal substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then had an effort from the edge of the box deflected past the post as his side ended the match on the offensive.Wolves ended with a flourish as Szczesny turned aside a Milijas drive in injury-time, but they were well beaten.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Arsenal|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|2||Shots on Target||7|
|4||Shots off Target||2|
|22.7||1st Half Poss.||77.3|
|31.8||2nd Half Poss.||68.2|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||37||48|
|10||West Ham United||37||43|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||37||25|
Wolves v Arsenal
Terry Connor has urged Wolves to inject the same spirit and determination that they showed against Arsenal into their last five games.
Arsene Wenger has praised Robin van Persie after he equalled another goal-scoring record against Wolves on Wednesday.
Theo Walcott feels Arsenal's bright start against Wolves was crucial in helping them get the job done after they secured a comfortable win.