Mikel Arteta has hailed Wolverhampton Wanderers as a ‘great counter-attack’ team, after Daniel Podence’s goal secured a 2-1 Premier League win at the Emirates, while speaking to the club’s website.
For the first time since 1979, the Old Gold sampled the sweet taste of success in the red half of North London.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffering something of a personal crisis of confidence in front of goal, Wolves took full advantage of the hosts’ ongoing profligacy on Sunday, as goals from Portuguese duo Pedro Neto and Podence moved Nuno Espirito Santo’s side into the Europa League places.
Both of their first-half strikes came following flowing, rapid-fire transitions, with Adama Traore putting those contract question marks behind him to produce his finest performance of 2020/21.
After another disappointing defeat, Arteta admitted that his side, who dominated 57 per cent of the possession but failed to test Rui Patricio after Gabriel Magalhaes’ first-half header, struggled to deal with Wolves’ trademark counter-attacks.
“When the game’s close, in that situation against Wolves, you are so exposed in any ball that you lose in certain areas because they are a great counter-attack team and this is our reality at the moment,” Arteta said, after Arsenal suffered a third straight Emirates defeat.
“This is our level today. We can beat anybody but we can lose as well because the margins are so minimal. We want to start to score more goals, obviously. The mountain is a big one to climb.
“It’s very worrying. We have to improve. It’s nowhere near good enough for this football club and we have to change things dramatically.”
Gabriel’s goal was the first Arsenal have scored in open play since that early-October victory over Sheffield United, and even that was a header from a corner.
Wolves, meanwhile, have recovered following a mixed start to the season and now look a match for any team, with Podence and Neto rapidly establishing themselves as two of the Premier League’s most electrifying talents.