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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Saturday, 12 February 2011

Arsenal   2 - 0   Wolverhampton

Robin van Persie
Van Persie fires Arsenal ahead with a brilliantly executed volley

By Ian Hughes

Robin van Persie scored twice to secure Arsenal's victory over Wolves and keep them in touch with Premier League leaders Manchester United.

The Dutchman sent a free-kick over and also sliced wide before scoring with a sweet volley from Cesc Fabregas' cross.

Wayne Hennessey kept out Theo Walcott's shot and Richard Stearman blocked on the line from Fabregas within seconds.

Walcott shot wide when he should have scored but the winger later squared for Van Persie to lash in his second.

The striker, who has now notched nine goals in five games, was in sparkling form once again and was matched by a stellar performance from midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The pair were far too good for a Wolves side that have now lost 11 out of their 13 games on the road this season, and the visitors never looked likely to improve that woeful record at the Emirates.

Van Persie says there is more to come

Only a series of outstanding stops by keeper Hennessey - and also some poor finishing from Arsenal - prevented the Gunners potentially breaking another Premier League record.

At Newcastle last week they became the first club to lose a four-goal lead in the Premier League as they capitulated in the second half to be pegged back to 4-4.

There was no such drama this time as Arsene Wenger's side kept their heads - and all 11 men on the field - and also benefited from 90 minutes of assurance from centre-back Johan Djourou, whose substitution through injury at St James' Park contributed to their downfall.

Wilshere and Fabregas bamboozled Wolves in midfield throughout and it was the Spaniard who set up Van Persie for the opener. The Dutchman had already had two early efforts on goal before he superbly volleyed in a cross from the right.

Arsenal were shining bright in a match that had begun with hailstones smashing down in the stadium.

And Andrey Arshavin should have made it 2-0 but failed to properly connect with a corner that evaded Hennessey, the Russian sending his volley wide of the gaping goal.

Wilshere, who made his first start for England in the midweek friendly win over Denmark, raced into the penalty area and chose to cross rather than shoot - one of the very few poor selections he made in the match.

The young midfielder then delivered a sublime ball over the top for Arshavin, whose cut-back found Walcott. The winger's shot from close range was somehow saved by Hennessey and the return by Fabregas was blocked on the line by Stearman.

Hennessey was called on again just before half-time and stretched out his foot to deny Van Persie.

For the second match in a row, Arsenal went into the break completely on top and untroubled.

Perhaps with the memories of last week in their minds, they started the second half determined to continue to dictate the pace.

Wilshere's fabulous run and lay-off played in Walcott but the England youngster shot wastefully wide.

'We were spanked' admits McCarthy

And as the Gunners pushed on, Wolves almost contributed to their own downfall when Stearman would have turned a cross into his own net but for another intervention by Hennessey's outstretched foot.

Eventually Arsenal struck again as the stubborn Wolves defence succumbed to more attacking brilliance.

Fabregas' pass sent Walcott clear and he slipped the ball inside for Van Persie to thump home.

Great work on the left touchline from Arshavin ended with Fabregas narrowly failing to reach a cut-back before the Russian himself sent a shot just wide from outside the box.

Arsenal continued to look for a third goal and came close to it when Walcott went on a fine run and his effort was kept out by Hennessey.

The Wolves keeper was at it again shortly after, saving a curling strike from Fabregas.

Wolves finally got an effort of note on target right at the end of the match when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake fired over from just inside the box, but their disappointing day ends with them bottom of the table.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 2-0 Wolves FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Van Persie 16
  • Van Persie 56

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Wolverhampton

    Substitutes

    Ref: FoyAtt: 60,050
    ARSENAL
    WOLVES

    Possession

    • Arsenal 55%
    • Wolves 45%

    Attempts on target

    • Arsenal 8
    • Wolves 0

    Attempts off target

    • Arsenal 9
    • Wolves 2

    Corners

    • Arsenal 3
    • Wolves 6

    Fouls

    • Arsenal 15
    • Wolves 9
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:10 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+2:22 Francesc Fabregas concedes a free kick for a foul on Karl Henry. Direct free kick taken by Richard Stearman.
    • 90:00+0:47 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Wayne Hennessey makes a comfortable save.
    • 89:14 Effort on goal by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 88:33 Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 86:11 Gael Clichy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adam Hammill. Ronald Zubar takes the direct free kick.
    • 85:09 Kevin Foley challenges Neves Denilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Johan Djourou.
    • 82:25 Effort from deep inside the area by Theo Walcott misses to the right of the goal.
    • 81:33 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Matthew Jarvis from the left by-line.
    • 81:14 Matthew Jarvis takes the inswinging corner, save by Wojciech Szczesny.
    • 79:30 Unfair challenge on Neves Denilson by Karl Henry results in a free kick. Francesc Fabregas takes the free kick.
    • 79:30 Substitution Steven Fletcher is brought on as a substitute for Kevin Doyle.
    • 77:33 Unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Laurent Koscielny results in a free kick. Karl Henry takes the free kick.
    • 76:02 The assistant referee signals for offside against Matthew Jarvis. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
    • 76:02 Substitution Jack Wilshere leaves the field to be replaced by Neves Denilson.
    • 75:28 Johan Djourou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle. Free kick taken by Kevin Doyle.
    • 71:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
    • 71:16 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Nicklas Bendtner coming on for Andrey Arshavin.
    • 71:16 Substitution Robin van Persie goes off and Marouane Chamakh comes on.
    • 67:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Clichy on Matthew Jarvis. Direct free kick taken by Ronald Zubar.
    • 65:38 Robin van Persie concedes a free kick for a foul on Richard Stearman. Free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 62:38 Substitution Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaces Nenad Milijas.
    • 62:10 Substitution Jamie O'Hara goes off and Kevin Foley comes on.
    • 61:53 Close range effort by Robin van Persie misses to the left of the goal.
    • 59:27 Unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by George Elokobi results in a free kick. Bacary Sagna takes the direct free kick.
    • 57:03 Foul by Alex Song on Nenad Milijas, free kick awarded. George Elokobi restarts play with the free kick.
    • 55:31 Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.
    • 55:31 GOAL - Robin van PersieArsenal 2 - 0 Wolverhampton Robin van Persie grabs a goal from just inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 2-0 Wolverhampton.
    • 54:44 Effort from outside the penalty box by Andrey Arshavin goes wide left of the goal.
    • 53:17 Johan Djourou challenges Kevin Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 50:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Karl Henry on Jack Wilshere. Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 48:00 Unfair challenge on Adam Hammill by Andrey Arshavin results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Nenad Milijas from right channel, Jack Wilshere manages to make a clearance.
    • 47:05 Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 45:55 Effort from inside the area by Theo Walcott misses to the right of the goal.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:30 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+1:12 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 43:56 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, Nenad Milijas manages to make a clearance.
    • 43:10 Unfair challenge on Andrey Arshavin by Nenad Milijas results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Laurent Koscielny.
    • 42:37 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Adam Hammill.
    • 41:42 Theo Walcott fouled by Ronald Zubar, the ref awards a free kick. Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 41:42 Booking Ronald Zubar goes into the book.
    • 40:34 Robin van Persie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Karl Henry. Free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 36:45 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 31:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Alex Song. Direct free kick taken by Nenad Milijas.
    • Correction - 30:58 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Blocked by Christophe Berra.
    • 30:58 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Stearman.
    • 30:37 Theo Walcott takes a shot. Wayne Hennessey makes a save.
    • 29:36 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Nenad Milijas from the right by-line to the near post, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.
    • 28:49 Francesc Fabregas has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 27:12 Matthew Jarvis is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
    • 25:59 Kevin Doyle is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
    • 22:52 Corner taken by Adam Hammill, Headed effort from inside the area by Ronald Zubar misses to the left of the target.
    • 20:12 Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line played to the near post, Nenad Milijas makes a clearance.
    • 19:05 Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie, Close range effort by Andrey Arshavin goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 17:59 Gael Clichy fouled by Richard Stearman, the ref awards a free kick. Andrey Arshavin restarts play with the free kick.
    • 15:47 Assist by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 15:47 GOAL - Robin van PersieArsenal 1 - 0 Wolverhampton Robin van Persie scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Wolverhampton.
    • 12:22 Corner taken by Nenad Milijas from the right by-line.
    • 9:33 Kevin Doyle fouled by Johan Djourou, the ref awards a free kick. Jamie O'Hara takes the free kick.
    • 9:09 Andrey Arshavin concedes a free kick for a foul on Ronald Zubar. Ronald Zubar takes the direct free kick.
    • 7:20 The referee blows for offside. Ronald Zubar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 6:49 Kevin Doyle is caught offside. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
    • 6:12 Johan Djourou concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Doyle. Adam Hammill takes the free kick.
    • 5:32 Robin van Persie has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
    • 3:03 Christophe Berra concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere. Robin van Persie fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 1:19 Andrey Arshavin challenges Karl Henry unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.
    • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Barclays Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 12 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 26 32 57
    2 Arsenal 26 29 53
    3 Man City 27 19 49
    4 Tottenham 26 9 47
    5 Chelsea 25 24 44
    6 Liverpool 27 3 39
    7 Sunderland 27 0 37
    8 Bolton 26 -1 33
    9 Stoke 26 -2 33
    10 Newcastle 26 2 32
    11 Blackburn 27 -8 32
    12 Fulham 26 0 30
    13 Everton 25 -1 30
    14 Birmingham 25 -8 30
    15 Aston Villa 27 -15 30
    16 Blackpool 26 -11 29
    17 West Brom 26 -17 27
    18 Wigan 27 -18 27
    19 West Ham 27 -18 25
    20 Wolves 26 -19 24

    see also
    Arsenal spanked us, says McCarthy
    12 Feb 11 |  Premier League
    AC Milan hit four as Barca draw
    12 Feb 11 |  Europe
    Saturday football as it happened
    12 Feb 11 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    12 Feb 11 |  Football


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