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Wolves 3 Arsenal 1 – player ratings

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers rates the players after a 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

Ruben Neves netted a sublime free-kick (© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY)

Rui Patricio

When he held an Arsenal free-kick in stoppage time it felt like that was the first time he'd touched the ball with his hands all night. A spectator for long spells. 6/10

Ryan Bennett

One of his best performances of the season. Produced a goal-saving block to deny Lacazette but he was also good in possession and positionally sound. More clearances (six) and interceptions (four) than any of his team mates. Romain Saiss gave some excellent displays when he replaced Bennett in the side, but Wolves do tend to look more solid – and certainly more rigid and organised – when Bennett plays. He, Coady and Boly know each other's games inside out. 8/10

Conor Coady

Never really left isolated or stretched. Organised the back line superbly. He wasn't happy that Wolves conceded one, but Coady and the team have bounced back brilliantly after that horror show against Southampton. 7/10

Willy Boly

A performance full of composure and assuredness. Safe to say that Boly would get in the Arsenal team. 7/10

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Matt Doherty

Eight goals in all competitions this season. Eight. And it was only five years ago he wasn't a regular in League One. Throw in seven assists and you've got the season of a lifetime. After a quiet couple of weeks he was back on it here. 8/10

Joao Moutinho

Robust and tenacious in defence, artistic and creative in attack. Just the way Wolves like him. His short corners can be frustrating at times, but it's always done for a reason and on this occasion playing to Jonny yielded a goal. Helped Wolves win the midfield battle, which was the game's key battleground. 8/10

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Ruben Neves

Like Wolves, a below-par couple of weeks. Like Wolves, a return to form here. Coincidence? Nope. When Neves is on top of his game, Wolves invariably are too. His passing range was more adventurous and, in possession, he was further up the field too. A beauty of a free-kick went up and down quicker than Zebedee at the Hacienda to beat a despairing Leno dive. It means he's scored more goals (four) this season than had touches in the opposition penalty area (three). 8/10

Leander Dendoncker

A little subdued in terms of headline contributions, but yet again a no-nonsense Dendoncker display of maturity and discipline allowed the two Portuguese artisans alongside him to do their thing. A vital cog in this team. 7/10

Jonny Castro Otto

His finest hour in a Wolves shirt? Defensively sound, full of running, rarely gave the ball away, produced important tackles and interceptions – and then going forward he was a revelation. Like an amorous puppy who hasn't yet discovered his no-go areas, incessant Jonny just couldn't be shaken off by the Arsenal defence. A continual, unabating, positive presence in the opposition half. Vinagre is supposed to be the left wing-back who attacks with wild abandon, but Jonny adopted that role here, linking sublimely with Jota on a number of occasions. Fouled for the free-kick which led to the first goal and then swung over a peachy cross for Doherty's second. Bravo. 9/10

Raul Jimenez

Did plenty of important, ugly work for the team. Worked his way into some superb shooting positions, peeling off defenders and finding space where he shouldn't have been allowed to. The finishing touch, though, was lacking. Not scored since the Watford semi-final – wouldn't it be lovely if he picks up where he left off on Saturday. 7/10

Diogo Jota

A superstar, not just in the making, but right now. Enjoying a phenomenal second half of the season, so much so that he's making a late run as a player of the year contender. Since the switch to 3-5-2 on December 5, when Jota scored his first goal of the season against Chelsea, he's netted eight goals in 11 Molineux appearances. Wolves were cagey, flacid and passive in the opening stages of this game and it was Jota who sparked them – and the quiet home fans – into life when he bombarded from his own corner flag into the Arsenal half in a matter of seconds. He then played a part in all three goals, with a barnstorming run before playing to Jonny who was fouled for the Neves free-kick, a lovely burst and cross which led to a corner for the second and then yet another sprint from deep before firing under Leno for the third and decisive goal. Wolves' fearless, undaunted, audacious daredevil. Magnificent. 9/10

Substitutes

Ivan Cavaleiro (for Jota, 77)

Arsenal were on the attack for most of his 13 minutes. Only touched the ball eight times. 5/10

Adama Traore (for Jimenez, 81)

Just the seven touches for Traore. N/A

Morgan Gibbs-White (for Moutinho, 89)

And only three for Gibs-White. N/A

Subs not used: Ruddy, Saiss, Vinagre, Costa.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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