ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE has finally done what it takes to save Arsenal’s dream of finishing in the top four.
The veteran Frenchman’s shot in the 95th minute was directed into his own goal by goalkeeper José Sa, who completed a stunning comeback from Mikel Arteta’s men.
And the wild scenes of jubilation at the final whistle were proof that the Arsenal team is not about to give up their Champions League hopes without a real fight.
Wolverhampton midfielder Ruben Neves has accused the Gunners of celebrating the league win as if they had beaten Molineux two weeks ago.
But it was nothing compared to the chaos that met the final whistle after this late and great escape.
And no one was more relieved than Captain Lacazette after a disappointing night.
It seemed that it would be a story about Nicolas Pepe, who came from the cold to break the hearts of the Wolves.
The club’s record £72m signing gave him his best Invisible Man impression in four months.
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But finally, given the chance, he came off the bench and equalized in the 82nd minute.
It was Pepe’s first league goal of the season, helping them move closer to fourth-placed Manchester United.
But it came very close after an early mistake by Gabriel Magalhaes threatened to undermine Arsenal’s recent progress.
The Brazilian defender should be one of the cornerstones of Arteta’s long-term project, but he always seems to have one big mistake.
It only took ten minutes for this to show itself when his careless backward pass was caught by a lurking Hee Chang Hwan.
The Korean may have started his first game in two months after a hip problem, but there was nothing rusty about his finishing touch as he passed Aaron Ramsdale and scored from a tight angle.
And that was the very last thing Arsenal needed as they struggled to find a way around one of the hardest defenses in the business.
Only Manchester City and Chelsea have conceded fewer goals than Wolverhampton this season, and once they take the lead, they’re like a dog with a bone.
So Arteta knew it would be a long night as his desperate young team hammered away at the solid wall of old gold that had been erected over the guests’ gates.
However, Arsenal could easily have taken the lead after just 20 seconds had Nelson Semedo not issued a final challenge to Gabriel Martinelli.
The striker returned to the team after picking up two yellow cards in six seconds in a 1-0 win over Molineux two weeks ago.
As Emil Smith Rowe was stricken with illness, this was Martinelli’s good work, otherwise Arteta might have been forced to start with the rarely seen Pepe.
The winger was sticking out like a sore thumb on the Arsenal bench, he clearly lacked star qualities.
And it is this lack of options that threatens to come back and bite Arteta after his decision to cut his team to the bone during the January transfer window.
Nowhere is this lack of alternatives more evident than at the spearhead of the team, where Lacazette discovers that the burden of expectation is too great to bear.
It certainly didn’t help when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equaled Lacazette all season in one game for Barcelona over the weekend.
And when news leaked that Ohba was on strike again for his new club last night, it started to look like Arteta dumped the wrong person last month.
However, even though Lacazette is running out of the last few months of his contract, no one can accuse him of packing and counting down the days until he leaves Emirates.
He may have broken the duck in the 16th minute when he was beaten by Bukayo Saka, but was forced to go to the side and shot from the wrong side of the near post.
Another worthy opportunity was quickly closed by Max Kilman before a hopeful long-range attempt was successfully saved by Sa.
Martinelli’s attempt at a chip was ripped out of thin air by Sa before the wild Thomas Partey fired at the Clock End, summing up Arsenal’s growing frustration.
And no one was as excited as manager Arteta when he scolded the referees for the amount of time Wolves wasted every time the ball went out of play.
He almost had more to complain about two minutes after the break, when Hwang was back in goal after a skillful back pass from Daniel Podens.
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But this time his shot hit Ramsdale’s inner thigh and bounced an inch off the far post.
If he got inside, the gunners would have no way back.
But they are now five points clear of Bruno Lage’s side and just one behind United with two games to go.