Die Herbstmeisterschaft is the German Bundesliga winners’ vacation nickname. Mikel Arteta doesn’t care if Arsenal wins the Premier League. Arsenal hasn’t hit this milestone since 2007, but it’s growing tougher to discourage fans from getting enthusiastic.
The Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/w3qjD6Xlru
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 12, 2022
Martin Odegaard scored twice to help Arsenal beat Wolves 2-0 before the World Cup break. The Wolves are bottom and might use a lift from Julen Lopetegui.
The keys for victory,
Arsenal had to return to winning ways and extend after the summit. Odegaard’s double stretched their lead to five, but Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Jesus were key. “It’s great to be where we are,” Arteta said. Nobody expected we’d advance this far or win so many games.
This game appeared meant to test Arsenal, even if the world was excellent. Granit Xhaka was substituted after 15 minutes by Fábio Vieira after he got unwell after the pregame meal. Ben White was unhappy when the referee gave Wolves a goal-kick instead of an Arsenal corner, so he underarm-shot the ball towards assistant referee Harry Lennard. Stuart Attwell warned White. Wolves, maybe buoyed by Arsenal’s defeat.
When William Saliba accidentally knocked Gonçalo Guedes down in the penalty area in the eighth minute, they were disappointed. VAR exists because they can’t call. Steve Davis said it was amazing to lead the squad he grew up. That wastes time; doing it serves no purpose but expecting punishment. A lousy choice dramatically changed the status quo. We needed a break.
Lopetegui visited the Wolves’ training facility on Friday but won’t start until Monday. He completed a warmup tour of the field, pumping his chest and giving the thumbs up to supporters yelling his name. Wolves chairman Jeff Shi called hiring Lopetegui a “moment of destiny,” despite Lopetegui turning down the position twice (in 2016 and after Bruno Lage’s resignation due to his father’s sickness).
Arsenal usually scores. Vieira collected Jesus’ pass and slid the ball into the 6-yard box, where Odegaard tapped it with Bukayo Saka waiting. Arteta said, “We don’t know what his limit is, like many of our youngsters,” referring to Odegaard, who would have scored again if Toti Gomes hadn’t intercepted Jesus’ ball.
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Odegaard got his second goal with 15 minutes left against the Wolves, who had only eight goals all season. Martinelli grabbed the ball from Wolves’ Dexter Lembikisa and found Oleksandr Zinchenko, who crossed it. Odegaard buried a rebound after José Sá blocked Martinelli’s low attempt. Arteta twisted his right hand proudly. “We’re number one!” chanted Arsenal fans.