Arsenal 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Arsenal fail to break into the top four of the Premiership after a disappointing draw at home to ten-man Wolves.
Chelsea and Liverpool both dropped home points in yesterday's fixtures and Arsene Wenger's side could not capitalise on the opportunity to move into the Champions League places. Things started well for the Gunners when Gervinho handed them the lead after just eight minutes. Yossi Benayoun's through ball found the Ivorian who showed good composure to round the goalkeeper and finish with his left foot. It was a dominant first-half performance from the hosts who went into the game having dropped just four points at home all season and came up against a Wolves side who had lost their last six away from Molineux. Robin van Persie almost doubled their lead after the half hour mark but he saw his low strike turned around the post by Wayne Hennessey. This would be a running theme throughout the 90 minutes with the Arsenal skipper repeatedly denied by the Wolves stopper. Wenger's side were made to rue their missed chances seven minutes before half-time when Stephen Hunt's deflected shot found in-form Steven Fletcher who instinctively nodded the ball in. Mick McCarthy's side have now pulled back eight points from losing positions in the Premier League and this kind of resilience is keeping the West Midlanders out of the bottom three, even managing to hold on for the final 16 minutes when Nenad Milijas was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Mikel Arteta. It seemed a harsh decision from referee Stuart Attwell who let off Alex Song moments earlier when he only received a booking for two rash challenges in the space of a few seconds. At the full-time whistle the visitors smothered their goalkeeper who pulled off several remarkable second-half saves, denying Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker from close range while van Persie saw two superb free-kicks wonderfully tipped around the post. It was a frustrating end for Arsenal and their fans who must now look to the New Year's Eve tie against QPR to get their top-four push back on track.