Arsenal 1-1 Wolves

By Becky AshtonBBC Sport
Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey who helped his side to a 1-1 draw at Arsenal
Wolves goalkeeper Hennessey made a string of saves to deny Arsenal

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey inspired Wolves to a draw at Arsenal, as the visitors held on after playing the last 15 minutes with 10 men.

Gervinho gave the Gunners the lead when he was put clear by Yossi Benayoun.

But Wolves levelled before the break, Steven Fletcher diverting home a shot from Stephen Hunt.

Arsenal dominated but, even after Nenad Milijas was harshly sent off for a tackle on Mikel Arteta, they were denied by Hennessey's fine saves.

The Wales international was at his best to regularly deny Gunners skipper Robin van Persie as Wolves earned their first away point since August.

Hennessey was the central figure of a gutsy defensive performance and at times he seemed to be almost single-handedly earning his relegation-threatened side a vital draw.

But the result meant Arsene Wenger's team missed the chance to move into the Premier League's top four.

Hennessey's display might have been excellent but after conceding early at the Emirates he is now without a clean sheet in his last 15 matches.

The excellent Benayoun, who was making his first Premier League start for Arsenal, split open the Wolves defence with an inch-perfect pass for Gervinho.

The Ivory Coast international appeared anything but convincing with the ball at his feet before rounding and firing home into an empty net.

Wenger frustrated by Wolves draw

Van Persie had chances to increase the lead as he looked to equal Alan Shearer's record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, firstly touching an effort just wide of the post before hitting a low shot that Hennessey did well to tip round the post.

Wolves were looking nervous at the back and almost gifted the home side a second goal when Karl Henry was dispossessed just outside his own area by Mikel Arteta, only for the defence to rally and block the shot.

Despite the home side dominating possession, Wolves always posed a threat in attack and were back level just before the break.

A corner from the left was half cleared to Hunt on the edge of the box and his deflected effort was diverted past Wojciech Szczesny by the head of Fletcher.

Arsenal continued their domination throughout the second half and looked increasingly in control but could not find a way past the stubborn Hennessey.

Van Persie, who was involved in all the Gunners' good play, bought an excellent save out of the keeper with a free-kick that was dipping under the crossbar before Thomas Vermaelen's downward header forced Hennessey to block with his feet.

Tomas Rosicky should have done better when the home side were gifted another chance following some indecision in the Wolves defence, but could only blaze his effort wide.

Things got even tougher for McCarthy's side when Milijas was sent off for a foul on Arteta on the edge of the box.

Justice prevailed - McCarthy

It appeared a harsh decision against the midfielder, who won the ball before taking down the Spaniard with his follow through, but referee Stuart Attwell was quick to produce the red card.

The home side continued to press and Hennessey again thwarted Van Persie, first from a free-kick before he made another block at his near post.

There was still time for Vermaelen to have a volley saved by Hennessey, but Wolves, thanks mainly to the efforts of their goalkeeper, held on.

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