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Premier League

  • April 11, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 25815
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Wolves 0-3 Arsenal: Van Persie and Walcott strikes set up easy victory as Gunners add to misery for 10-man hosts

Quick-fire goals from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott in the first half at Molineux derailed the 10-man home team, before Yossi Benayoun’s strike on 69 minutes finished the game

Arsenal won 2-0 in forceful fashion to push away from other clubs chasing Champions League football and leave Wolves nine points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League. Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun led the team with a goal each.

Van Persie opened the scoring from the penalty spot after last-man Sebastien Bassong was red carded for wrestling Theo Walcott to the floor inside the box.

Two minutes later the England international broke through the relegation-threatened side’s defense to double the scoreline and increase the home fans’ misery.

Wolves' crowd persisted with its vocal support - alongside loud cheers at every decision in its favor - and its players put on a spirited show for the following fifty minutes.

But Yossi Benayoun’s right-footed strike, from the edge of the area with a little over 20 minutes left to play, sunk hopes of a miraculous recovery.

The Gunners’ traveling lineup consisted of three changes from the team that beat Manchester City on Sunday, with Johan Djourou, Andre Santos and Aaron Ramsey slotted into the side.

Wolves top scorer Steven Fletcher and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake were dropped as Terry Connor opted for a 4-5-1 formation in the hope of keeping a first clean sheet in the top flight for seven months.

Such a notion lasted only seven minutes, as an on-rushing Walcott was bundled to the ground in the 18-yard box by Bassong, who was swiftly sent off by referee Neil Swarbrick after the feeblest of demonstrations.

Van Persie had not scored in four successive matches but that didn’t stop the Premier League top goalscorer audaciously chipping the ball straight down the middle of Wayne Hennessey’s goal.

Two minutes later, the ball was back in the bottom of the Welsh goalkeeper’s net. Walcott breaking through the Wolves ranks after a one-two with the Gunners skipper to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Benayoun almost added a third at the quarter hour mark when he powered into the box before wastefully driving wide right.

The initial burst in action was followed by a much more subdued tempo at Molineux. Wolves stifled the relentless flow Arsenal attacks and had a couple of chances from corners cleared.

Tackles flew in as the half came to a close, Kevin Doyle personifying the frustration within the stadium when he was booked for a rash challenge on Mikel Arteta.

Although a man down and against the third-placed team in the league, rock bottom Wolves have recovered 14 points from losing positions this season in the league, a feat only topped by Arsene Wenger’s men’s 19.

Indeed, Connor’s side pushed forward with impressive abundance, but a narrow and uncharacteristic miss from Van Persie reminded the hosts the threat their opponents posed.

Straight away at the other end, however, Matt Jarvis retaliated by dragging into the side netting after fooling right back Bacary Sagna with a clever dummy.

With 30 minutes remaining on the clock Wojciech Szczesny pulled off an incredible save to his right to deny solitary Wolves forward Doyle, who had headed Jarvis’ inviting cross at the back post goalwards.

Arsenal was mostly dominant from this point until the finish. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injected some pace into the right flank for the visiting team while the disparate-looking Doyle was withdrawn for Steven Fletcher with 12 minutes left.

The Gunners played out the remaining 10 minutes with the passing finesse they were famed for during the years Cesc Fabregas orchestrated their midfield ranks. Wolves rarely had the ball longer than 30 seconds before giving the ball away or being intercepted.

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