Wolves 0 Arsenal 3

Arsene Wenger sat composed and relatively unanimated as Arsenal took apart a relegation threatened Wolves at Molineux. Goals from Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun ensured Wenger’s and the Gunners comfort to remain at third place in the Premiership, but the Arsenal manager knew that having had that disastrous start, he could afford to smile that little bit easier. “I am very happy that we are in this position but I am also very cautious because some teams have been in that position before. We want to win our next game because where we have come from this season we must be focused. We have come from very deep and to stay in this position we have to focus on our next game,” stressed Wenger.

Arsenal flew out of the blocks and established early control with their trademark crisp passing and free flowing football. When Van Persie played in Walcott, the Arsenal striker was in on Wayne Hennessey’s goal until Sebastien Bassong clattered into him. A penalty was awarded on nine minutes, but also a red card for Bassong. Having not netted in his previous four games, up stepped Van Persie to take the spot kick, and produced a delicious chip at the centre of the target, and with Hennessey committed to his right, the Gunners took the lead. It was Van Persie’s 27th Premiership strike, 33rd overall, and also a record equalling tally with the Holland marksman now having scored against 17 Premiership sides. Ian Wright previously held that record.

Two minutes later, and with the wind firmly in their sails, Walcott doubled the Gunners’ advantage. Van Persie and Walcott were again the instigators of the slick move, with this time the Arsenal number 14 tucking away the return with a low right footed strike for his 11th goal of the season. Wolves had elected to bring on Christophe Berra in place of midfielder David Davis in an attempt to cover for Bassong’s sending off, but it seemed that Arsenal could create at will. After the break, the home side rallied, and only two fine saves by the hitherto redundant Wojciech Szczesny from Nenad Milijas and Kevin Doyle ensured the Gunners lead. Further chances for Van Persie and Aaron Ramsey – after glaring misses at Everton and against Manchester City the Wales captain seems unsure in front of goal – were squandered however. The Gunners finally fired in their third with Benayoun finding the target after some fine play from Van Persie and Alex Song for the assist.

For Wenger, the smiles continued to grow. “It is not easy for a striker like Van Persie who is not used to not scoring. I think he equalled the record of Ian Wright by scoring against 17 different teams in the Premier League out of 20. That is absolutely remarkable in the modern game so I would like to congratulate him because that has never been done before. When your striker scores against 17 different teams, that is sensational.” And what about that amazing penalty finish ? It was a surprise to me because I have never seen him doing that. It was just what came into his mind at the last second,” noted Wenger.

Up next will be the battlers of Wigan, who having seen of Manchester United and unlucky in their loss at Chelsea, will pose another challenge of a side fighting for their Premiership lives.”Wigan did not deserve to lose at Chelsea and they got a great result tonight. It is a good warning for us to prepare well in that game,” said Wenger.

Having had that slip up at Loftus Road, Wenger knows that Arsenal must be fully focussed on nothing other than another three points.