Wolves manager Gary O’Neil criticized Arsenal for employing what he deemed as “timewasting” tactics in the closing moments of their encounter at the Emirates Stadium, where the Gunners secured a 2-1 victory with first-half goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard. Despite Matheus Cunha pulling one back for Wolves, the late surge was insufficient to alter the outcome.
Expressing his dissatisfaction with Arsenal’s approach, O’Neil highlighted the extended time taken for restarts, particularly in the added minutes. He suggested that the referee allowed three restarts, each consuming 45 seconds, and argued that additional time should have been granted to counteract such tactics. O’Neil stated his belief that the match officials should have been more vigilant in curbing timewasting, a phenomenon that has seen players receive bookings for delaying restarts.
O’Neil reflected on his team’s performance, acknowledging their resilience and the ability to create a sense of concern for Arsenal, despite falling short in the end. The defeat leaves Wolves in the 13th position, maintaining a six-point cushion above the relegation zone.
In contrast, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta commended his team’s dominant performance, particularly during large portions of the match. He expressed his satisfaction with the players’ competitive spirit and excellence, emphasizing their control of the game against a formidable opponent. Arteta pointed out that the scoreline could have been more lopsided, citing instances where Arsenal hit the post multiple times and an error near the goal allowed Wolves to capitalize. Nevertheless, he praised his team’s overall performance.
With the win, Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table, now four points clear. Arteta highlighted the importance of consistency and improvements, especially in a congested fixture schedule where matches are played every three days. He emphasized certain elements that, when executed consistently, lead to positive outcomes, underlining the team’s reliance on these certainties.
In summary, Wolves’ manager Gary O’Neil criticized Arsenal’s timewasting tactics, feeling that the referee should have allowed more added time. Despite the late resurgence from Wolves, Arsenal’s dominant performance secured them a 2-1 victory and extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table. Arteta expressed satisfaction with his team’s overall display and highlighted the challenges of maintaining consistency in a tight schedule.