Arsenal goes fifth in Premier League as Gabriel seals win at Wolves

Gabrieal tapped in from close range in the 25th minute to decide a largely forgettable contest that Arsenal ended with 10 men on Thursday.

Victory lifted Arsenal into fifth place with 39 points from 22 games while Wolves, who could have gone above the Gunners, remain in eighth position.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Arsenal claimed a first win in six matches in all competitions with defender Gabriel scoring the only goal in 1-0 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Thursday.

The Brazilian tapped in from close range in the 25th minute to decide a largely forgettable contest that Arsenal ended with 10 men after Gabriel Martinelli was bizarrely sent off with 20 minutes remaining for two offences in a matter seconds.

Wolves struggled to create clear chances and the closest they came to an equaliser was when substitute Chiquinho's effort was cleared off the line.

Daniel Podence was denied by a fine save by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale but it was a disappointing night for Wolves who had been seeking a fourth successive league win.

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Victory lifted Arsenal into fifth place with 39 points from 22 games while Wolves, who could have gone above the Gunners, remain in eighth position.

It was a timely victory for Arsenal to boost its hopes of a top-four finish, but it did not look likely early on as Wolves dominated the opening exchanges.

But Arsenal took the lead in scrappy fashion when Alexandre Lacazette challenged Wolves keeper Jose Sa and flicked the ball across to Gabriel to convert from in front of goal.

Goal-shy Wolves had plenty of possession but rarely looked like adding to their paltry 19 league goals this season.

The biggest talking point of the night was Martinelli's red card, Arsenal's fourth in 2022.

The Brazilian forward first shoved Podence as the Wolves player tried to take a quick throw-in, then chased down Chiquinho and fouled him too.

Referee Michael Oliver then produced a yellow card, then another, for the two fouls, as Martinelli looked on in disbelief.

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"It's the first time I've seen a red card like this in 18 years that I've been in this league," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.

Asked about his side's poor disciplinary record, Arteta said they cannot afford to keep ending games with 10 men.

"We know that playing with 10 men in this league you're not gonna get points, enough points, the points that we want and we have to stop it," the Spaniard said.

"But to be fair it's difficult to find more arguments and more ways to transmit that to the players. Everybody says it's the most disciplined group they've seen in the last 15 years, but still we are getting red card for other things."

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