Mikel Arteta was left fuming at a red card that "Changed the Game" and handed a 2-1 victory to a battling Wolves at Molineux.
It was Joao Moutinho’s stunning 30-yard strike that sealed victory for the hosts but it was 9-man Arsenal’s self-destruction and capitulation in front of goal that saw the London team miss out on the spoils.
The visitors had virtually total control of the first half and could have had the game out of sight early doors with Bukayo Saka hitting the post and having a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.
However, they only had a solo effort from Nicolas Pepe to show for their efforts.
Pepe winning the ball off Semedo in the Wolves half leaving the defender in a heap before nutmegging Ruben Neves and lashing a low shot across Patricio and into the bottom corner of the goal.
Arteta would have no doubt been pleased to have seen his team’s superiority bear fruit but would have been equally dismayed with what happened in first-half stoppage time.
David Luiz was judged to have clipped debutant Willian Jose in the area as he raced on to collect Daniel Podence’s pass. It was careless of Luiz who was struggling to recover his position but there was clearly no intent to bring down the player. None the less referee Craig Pawson deemed the non-challenge worthy of the 3rd red card of Luiz’s short Arsenal career. Neves stepped up to take the resulting penalty and fired high past Leno to bring the teams in level at the break.
Gabriel replaced Lacazette at half time to sure up he Gunners backline but it also blunted their attack and it was Moutinho who put the midlands side in front just four minutes after the restart.
The midfielder had not scored at Molineux since he joined from Monaco in 2018 but ended that drought in emphatic style with a fierce drive that Leno could do nothing about as it flew in off the post.
From here Wolves were in control as 10-man Arsenal struggled to capture the form of recent weeks.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench but made no impact and the Gunners imploded as Leno was sent off with 18 minutes left.
The keeper raced out of his area to get to a ball before Adama Traore, misjudged the pace and bounce and inexplicably palmed it out of play – resulting in a far less disputed red card than Luiz’ earlier dismissal.
Runar Runarsson came on in net replacing Partey and saved Arsenal from more misery, beating away late shots from Neves and Pedro Neto.
The defeat ended Arsenal’s seven-match unbeaten run and dented their attempts to catch the Premier League’s top five, leaving them four points adrift whilst Wolves picked up just their second win in twelve games to ease any potential relegation worries.