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Nov 2 (Reuters) - A header by Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Raul Jimenez cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half goal for Arsenal as the teams played out a 1-1 draw in a Premier League clash that smouldered for long periods but never really caught fire on Saturday.
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil was in the team after his midweek League Cup performance but there was no place in the squad for captain Granit Xhaka, who was heavily criticised following his angry reaction to being substituted last week.
Arsenal looked set to break a run of poor league performances that has seen them take five points from the last four games when Aubameyang stabbed home Alexandre Lacazette’s pass in the 20th minute, his 50th goal for the club.
Despite dominating possession, Arsenal failed to score again and they were hit by a sucker-punch in the 76th when Portuguese striker Jimenez headed home Joao Moutinho’s looping ball into the box for the equaliser.
Arsenal pressed forward looking for a late winner but the Wolves rearguard survived the loss of Irish international defender Matt Doherty to injury as they held firm to make it eight league games unbeaten.
With the home fans booing briefly at the final whistle, the result left Arsenal fifth on 17 points, with Wolves 11th on 13.
“It’s disappointing. I think the players tried and we scored the first goal but we needed a second for more confidence,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery told reporters.
“Wolves are consistent in playing matches like they did today and they did that again. It was an equal match and maybe we deserved more,” he added.
Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo thought his side could have taken all three points.
“We were good in the second half and finished the game on the front foot and we should have punished (them) because we were on top,” he said. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon)