Belfast Telegraph

Jimenez strikes to increase pressure on Emery

Arsenal threw away another lead.

Raul Jimenez scored the equaliser (Paul Harding/PA)
Raul Jimenez scored the equaliser (Paul Harding/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Raul Jimenez was on hand to head home a late leveller for Wolves as Arsenal let a lead slip for the third time in a week to increase pressure on head coach Unai Emery.

The Gunners appeared to have put the issues surrounding Granit Xhaka to one side, the midfielder watching from home after swearing at supporters last week, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck, but a 1-1 draw here means Emery has overseen a run of two wins from the last nine Premier League games.

The Gabon striker – captain with Xhaka absent – took on the mantle and turned in his 50th Arsenal goal but the hosts were timid in attack and once again failed to keep a clean sheet as Jimenez rose to header in an equaliser with 14 minutes remaining to earn Wolves a deserved share of the spoils.

Emery recalled Mesut Ozil for only his second league appearance of the season but it was not enough to inspire his side to a much-needed victory.

Arsenal were two goals ahead last Sunday before Crystal Palace fought back to leave the Emirates Stadium with a point – and they also held the lead more than once before a 5-5 Carabao Cup draw at Liverpool, who ultimately won the fourth-round tie on penalties.

Wolves started like a side full of confidence but despite plenty of possession they struggled to test Bernd Leno, a tame Joao Moutinho free-kick the closest they came before Arsenal began to assert themselves.

Aubameyang shot straight at Rui Patricio from a tight angle before Lucas Torreira saw his low drive deflected behind for a corner.

Wolves failed to clear their lines and David Luiz broke down the right with his low cross collected by Lacazette and turned on for Aubameyang to side-foot home from 12 yards and put the hosts ahead.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring against Wolves (Paul Harding/PA)

Ruben Neves sent a trademark long-range effort just over Leno’s crossbar as Wolves look to draw level while Arsenal called Patricio into action courtesy of a Lacazette shot.

But Arsenal had Leno to thank for going in ahead at the interval as the Germany international did brilliantly to palm away Matt Doherty’s strike after being picked out free inside the penalty area.

Leno was back in action soon after the restart, diving to keep out Neves’ curling shot while Emery turned to his bench and called on in-form 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli to replace Lacazette.

Calum Chambers headed a corner goalwards only to see Doherty clear off the line, the Wolves full-back limping off injured soon after.

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Matt Doherty went off injured (Paul Harding/PA)

But it was a tactical call from Emery which appeared to turn the game in favour of the opposition as he opted to replace defensive midfielder Torreira with teenage winger Bukayo Saka.

The change of shape and system seemed to catch Arsenal out and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side took full advantage as Moutinho crossed for Jimenez to get above Chambers and head low past Leno, the atmosphere inside the stadium immediately changing as a result.

Jeers and groans met every wayward pass and supporters headed to the exit en masse before the end of a game which Wolves were more likely to win in the closing stages.

PA

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