Despite the cold, damp, grey atmosphere, the return of Ozil brightened the spirits of the crowd for only his second Premiership start of the season, allaying some of the pre-match tension generated by the growing reputation of the visitors.
Wolves, like Aston Villa before them, bring a rich history and attacking tradition with them – representing England in the early sixties in the European Cup including a memorable 2-9 round against Barcelona.
These days their image is more functional – but their disciplined approach is allied with some flair, making them both a difficult team to beat and dangerous on the counter. The defensive organisation side of their game is something Arsenal could do with. It doesn’t seem to damage their attacking potential managing 15 more attempts than the home team and twice as many on target in this match.
Home fans fears were soon realised when Wolves strung some neat passing moves and getting beyond the back four down the wings.
They made a particularly bright start down the left with Chambers high up and Jonny had a good chance getting in behind with ease.
Jota sent a pass to Neves who cut across his shot too much. Arsenal fans could justifiably ask: where is the midfield when Wolves attack and where is the pressing?
After the first 15, Arsenal came more into it. Luiz sent a looping free kick to Aubameyang but Patricio saved.
Lacazette set up Torreira in the area – but he drove just wide across the goal.
But soon after, Luiz drilled a cross which via a deflection found Lacazette who found Aubameyang who drove home passing with accuracy past Patricio. This was eighth time Wolves have been behind in a Premiership game. But such is their determination, they have fought back to draw four.
The dangerous and speedy Traore drove through but couldn’t find Jota.
A mix up in wolves defence saw Torreira, who played in a more forward role, fire straight at Patricio when he could have done better.
Neves, always a danger from outside the area had a curler which went over the top.
Chambers crossed to Ceballos who set up Lacazette who scuffed the shot.
Jota got in down the left again and found Doherty running in late – but his shot was straight at Leno.
Another cut back from the right from Doherty to Jota rebounded to Moutinho – but it was blocked again. Then Jiminez found Jota who turned and shot wide.
At the start of the second half, Torreira ran into Wolves area but couldn’t find Aubameyang’s run. The Gabonese checked and send a dinked pass to Lacazette
. Tierney got noticeably closer to Traore.
Jota set up Neves who shot diagonally – again saved by Leno.
A run by Aubameyang down the left – back heel to Ozil who found Lacazette – saved by Patricio.
Martinelli came on for Lacazette half-way through the half who picked up a knock in the first half.
An Ozil corner was met by Chambers – but blocked – symbolic of Arsenal’s attempts in the second half – with none on target.
On a simple throw in Ceballos failed to pick up Moutinho lobbed it into the six-yard box. Jiminez positioned himself between Sokratis and Chambers to head home the simplest of goals.
This was the fifth time in a week the Arsenal team had let a lead slip.
Chambers, trying to make amends fired a good ball in, which Martinelli just missed.
Ceballos found Ozil near the byline, but his low cross was blocked.
Near the final whistle, Jota sitting in the dangerous area between midfield and defence and emphasising the flimsy nature of Arsenal’s defensive cover, drove through the middle but stumbled in front of Leno.
The boos at the end were a culmination of the frustration of letting those leads slip away and the realisation, at present at least Arsenal are on course for mid-table status – unless they can sort out the defensive organisation.
Maybe the attacking side of the game is so engrained into the Arsenal DNA from the Wenger days, that it could be beyond the limited time Emery has, with his limited language skills, to turn around.
Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney (Kolasinac 87), Guendouzi, Ceballos, Torreira (Saka 73), Ozil, Lacazette (Martinelli 60), Aubameyang
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty (Vinagre 71), Coady, Saiss, Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny, Jiminez, Jota (Neto 90+1)