Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he feels “the responsibility” to improve results after Wolves fought back to claim a merited Premier League point at the Emirates.
Boos rang out inside the stadium as a turbulent week for the club ended with Arsenal collecting just their second point from the last nine available.
“I am very demanding of myself,” Emery said.
“We are not proud of our result today. The result is not good.
“I feel every time my responsibility to work and come back with better results.”
The afternoon had started brightly for the Gunners, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – standing in for the dropped Granit Xhaka as captain – opening the scoring to register his 50th goal for the club.
However, that was a rare blip for Wolves who repeatedly carved the hosts open and on another day may have claimed all three points.
And Nuno Espirito Santo’s side got their reward when Raul Jimenez headed Joao Moutinho’s hooked cross past Bernd Leno into the bottom right corner.
It ensured Wolves, who are up to 11th, stretched their unbeaten run to six games, while Arsenal remain in fifth.
Familiar failings haunt Arsenal
Arsenal have already surrendered leads against Watford and Crystal Palace this season, and this result did little to allay concerns over the team’s perceived fragility in defence.
Former boss Arsene Wenger came in for criticism over this towards the end of his 22-year tenure at the club and there is a feeling that Emery has been unable to address those failings as he nears 18 months in charge.
While they were in total control against Watford and Palace before capitulating, that was not the case against Wolves who took the game to the hosts from the off.
The visitors had already fashioned at least half a dozen good opportunities before Arsenal opened the scoring against the run of play.
Aubameyang – who Emery later suggested could replace Xhaka has the club’s captain – expertly finished from Alexandre Lacazette’s pass to score his ninth goal in 13 games.
But the Gabon forward largely forced to feed off scraps with Arsenal managing just 10 shots compared to the visitors’ 25, their was a sense of inevitability about Jimenez’s equaliser.
However, only Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola currently enjoys a higher win ratio in the Premier League than Emery.
And the Spaniard’s 59% currently places him ahead of Jurgen Klopp (58%), Mauricio Pochettino (55%) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (50%).
Wolves the comeback Kings
After a slow start to the season Wolves have now collected 10 points from the last 18 available on an unbeaten run that has seen them climb from 19th.
This performance which mirrored their showing in the 1-1 draw the Emirates last season was brimming with pace, energy and swift counter-attacking football which at times overwhelmed the hosts.
Roared on by 3,000 supporters draped in gold and black, Jimenez, Dioga Jota, Matt Doherty and Ruben Neves all featured prominently, particularly during the first period.
With the visitors sweeping forward at every opportunity, they conceded the softest of goals as the absence of their regular defenders – Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett – was felt when deputising midfielder Leander Dendoncker failed to spot Aubameyang’s run.
But that did little to jolt or unnerve them as they continued in the same vein and pushed Arsenal back.
“We finished on the front foot and every time we broke the feeling was we could harm more,” said Nuno.
“I am happy because we worked hard and showed character. This is the process we want. We want to go to every stadium and play with our identity.”
Doherty saw his right-foot shot superbly saved by Leno, with the Arsenal keeper also forced into action by Neves and Mexico forward Jimenez.
Wolves, who have scored 86% of their goals in the second half this season, underlined their status as comeback specialists when Jimenez got his reward with one of his eight efforts on goal.
Nuno’s team have now recovered to draw 1-1 on six occasions this season.
Man of the Match – Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
Shot-shy Arsenal – the stats
- Arsenal have dropped points having scored the first goal in consecutive home league games for the first time since November 2004 (Southampton and West Brom).
- Wolves have gone unbeaten in three league games against Arsenal (W1 D2) for the first time since a run of three wins between October 1978 and September 1979
- Wolves have scored in 10 consecutive Premier League games for the first time.
- Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target in the second half of this match, with their last effort coming in the 32nd minute.
- Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s debut in February 2018, he and Alexandre Lacazette have combined for nine Premier League goals for Arsenal – the most of any pair at the club in this period.
- Wolves’ Raul Jimenez has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season – only Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero (13 each) have scored more amongst Premier League players.
Arsenal travel to Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on Wednesday, 6 November (15:50 GMT) before their next Premier league outing at Leicester on Saturday, 9 November (17:30).
Wolves host Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League on Thursday, 7 November (20:00) and resume their Premier League duties when they welcome Aston Villa to Molineux on Sunday, 10 November (14:00).