The Gunners, who had earlier hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed, went ahead when Nicolas Pepe held off two Wolves challenges and curled a fine finish into the net. Arsenal had two players sent off as they threw away a lead and lost to Wolves – who won for the first time in nine Premier League games.
But Arsenal were reduced to 10 men when defender David Luiz brought down Willian Jose, with Ruben Neves equalising with the resulting penalty in first-half injury time. Joao Moutinho scored with a brilliant strike from 30 yards out to put the hosts ahead soon after the restart.
However, the Gunners were then reduced to nine men as goalkeeper Bernd Leno handled the ball outside of his penalty area after racing out trying to deny Adama Traore.
This was Wolves’ first league victory since a 2-1 victory at Molineux against Chelsea on 15 December, although they had also won two FA Cup ties – against Crystal Palace and National League North side Chorley – since then.
Wolves climb a place to 13th, but will drop back to 14th if Crystal Palace avoid defeat at Newcastle United in a late game on Tuesday. Arsenal, who would have gone sixth with victory, stay 10th, eight points behind fourth-placed Leicester City in the final Champions League qualification spot.
Luiz red card changes the game
The tuning point came in first-half injury time when Arsenal were leading 1-0 and were dominant. Daniel Podence played the ball through to Jose and the Brazilian, on his home debut, had his heel clipped from behind by compatriot Luiz.
Referee Craig Pawson decided that Luiz had made no attempt to play the ball and sent the centre-back off. It was Luiz’s third red card for Arsenal after also being dismissed in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea in January 2020 and then again in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City in June.
Wolves, whose main threat had been restricted to set-pieces and long-range efforts, equalised with Neves’ penalty, which he fired into the top corner.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta made a defensive substitution at the break as centre-back Gabriel came on for forward Alexandre Lacazette, but it only took the hosts four minutes of the second half to go ahead, through Moutinho’s superb strike.
The visitors brought on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for goalscorer Pepe in the 61st minute in an attempt to rescue something from the game.
But Leno made a shocking decision in the 72nd minute as he sprinted out of his box, trying to reach the ball before the pacey Traore, but the goalkeeper misjudged the bounce, handled the ball and was dismissed.
With Mat Ryan, who signed from Brighton last month, injured, third-choice goalkeeper Runar Runarsson was given a Premier League debut.
The 25-year-old Iceland international, signed for £1.8m from Dijon in September, did well to deny Pedro Neto and substitute Vitinha as Wolves looked to finish the game off.
That left Arsenal largely playing with two banks of four, in defence and midfield, with long spells of no-one playing up front before they could regain possession. Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin had shots from the edge of the penalty area blocked, but the Gunners could not force an unlikely equaliser.
Source – BBC News