Arsenal secured a rather fortuitous 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday. The Gunners started the game on a slow note and an error from Granit Xhaka allowed Ivan Cavaleiro opening the scoring within the 13th minute.
Thereafter, the north London side went into break with only one goal down but they could have easily conceded another barring Leno’s efforts between the sticks.
In the second period, the Gunners tried to step up their game without much success but Henrikh Mkhitaryan eventually levelled the scores in the 86th minute after delivering an acute cross which surprisingly found its way into the opposition goal.
At 1-1, the home side would have been expected to go for the victory but they were eventually made to hang on to the result after a key save from Leno – one at point blank range – before Ruben Neves hit the woodwork with his own effort.
Two things we learned:
Bernd Leno saves the Gunners’ blushes: Leno was in sublime form for the Gunners during the entire 90 minutes against Wolves and without him on the field, they could have experienced the end of their 15-match unbeaten run. The German showed good decision-making in the first half after he denied Helder Costa the chance to double the scores for Wolves by coming off his line. However, his most telling contribution undoubtedly came after the Gunners’ equaliser. At 1-1, Adama Traore appeared likely to find the scoresheet after beating Rob Holding in a straight race within sight of goal but Leno made himself a nuisance once more by closing down on the attacker before making an impressive block to his right. Leno may have kept one clean sheet in the Premier League this term but he has stepped up his showing which remains a positive despite the Gunners dropping points for the third league game on the bounce.
Wolverhampton Wanderers fail to make chances pay: Wolverhampton Wanderers may have come into the game as the underdogs but they were certainly not overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling Arsenal on the road. Right from the start, the west Midlands side showed more urgency when compared to the home side and Xhaka’s error in the Gunners’ half enabled Cavaleiro to bag an unlikely opener. Thereafter, Nuno’s side kept their shape for vast parts of the game but they may feel disappointed with the ultimate outcome. Both Helder Costa and Adama Traore found themselves in one-on-one positions with goalkeeper Leno in the first and second period respectively but neither were able to get the better of the German, who was in sparkling form on the day. Right at the end, Ruben Neves could have sealed the winner but his shot unfortunately ruffled off the top-left corner off the woodwork.
Image – Getty