Arsenal‘s quest to finish in the Premier League top four received its biggest boost yet on Thursday evening.
The Gunners defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, a 96th-minute own goal from Jose Sa securing three priceless points for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Arsenal were certainly made to work hard for victory, with Wolves holding firm at the back and posing a serious threat on the counter.
Hee-Chan Hwang, Daniel Podence and Raul Jimenez all looked dangerous, particularly in the first half of proceedings.
In fact, Arsenal’s Ben White had to resort to using the dark arts in order to prevent Jimenez from charging through on goal in the 21st-minute when Wolves were already 1-0 up.
The former Brighton centre-back’s foul right by the halfway line after misplacing a pass really was as cynical as they come as well…
Video: White’s cynical foul on Jimenez to stop counterattack
Ben White 😂 pic.twitter.com/V28aeVhB2D
— DailyAFC (@DailyAFC) February 25, 2022
Now that’s what you call ‘taking one for the team’.
Amazingly, the referee didn’t even blow for a foul and VAR didn’t step in either, despite the fact White appeared to be the last man and sneakily stopped a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Those officials always going against Arsenal, eh?
However, it can be argued that White getting off the hook was payback for Arsenal not being awarded what appeared to be a clear penalty in the very first minute.
Gabriel Martinelli – who returned to the side after being sent off at Molineux – looked as if he was tripped in the box by Nelson Semedo while attempting to take on a shot.
But referee Martin Atkinson waved play on and those operating VAR at Stockley Park decided not to ask him to go and review the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Video: Should Arsenal have been awarded a penalty vs Wolves?
Some of the penalties Arsenal don’t get I think you can see why. But, unless there’s an angle from the other side that shows Semedo didn’t just run into Martinelli’s arm, I can’t see how you don’t give this pic.twitter.com/4EKJfSBiu8
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) February 24, 2022
Yeah, we’re not quite sure how that wasn’t given either…