July 5, 2020 / 3:35 AM / a month ago

Arsenal halt Wolves charge with 2-0 victory

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal put a dent in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ hopes of a top-four finish as Bukayo Saka’s first Premier League goal helped them to an impressive 2-0 away victory on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - July 4, 2020 Arsenal's Joe Willock in action with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Jonny, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Mike Egerton/Pool via REUTERS

The 18-year-old Saka’s controlled finish on the turn just before the end of a low-key first half put Arsenal ahead.

Adama Traore fired over as in-form Wolves lacked the attacking potency that has put them in sight of a possible place in next season’s Champions League.

Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench late on to secure the points for Mikel Arteta’s side with a clinical angled finish.

Arsenal’s third successive league win moved them to within three points of sixth-placed Wolves whose eight-match unbeaten league run came to an end in disappointing fashion.

Wolves are three points behind Manchester United in fourth spot and two behind Chelsea who play later.

Saka signed a new long-term contract this week to end speculation that he might leave and he marked it in style.

Arsenal had gone closest to opening the scoring when fellow youngster Eddie Nketiah fired against the post.

Kieran Tierney, another of Arsenal’s youngsters, was involved in their opening goal. His ball across to Saka was not the best but Saka showed great technique to swivel and swing a left-foot volley away from goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

“It is very big. We know how good Wolves are and how tough it was going to be,” Saka said.

“It has been a week I will remember for my whole life. You can see the manager is building and that I can tie down my future here.”

Wolves stepped up the tempo in the second half and should have equalised when Diogo Jota slipped in Traore who only had keeper Emiliano Martinez to beat but chipped his shot over.

The home side’s day was summed up when Lacazette struck three minutes after replacing Nketiah following good work by Joe Willock down the right.

It was not quite how Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo wanted to celebrate his 150th game in charge.

“Mistakes happen. What we have to do is look at and solve. It was a moment of concentration and we allowed ourselves to concede. We must bounce back and reinvent ourselves,” he said.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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