Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil shower praise on Arsenal duo William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes following 2-0 defeat

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table yesterday following a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Stadium, courtesy of late goals at the end of each half from Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard.

It was the perfect response the Gunners needed after losing their top spot following a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium last weekend and their subsequent elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Arsenal were impressive at both ends of the pitch, and Wolves manager Gary O’Neil was impressed with the centre-back pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, showering praise on the Gunners duo following the game.

“Although we were missing key players we had some energy across the pitch and we tried to use that to our advantage,” the Wolves boss told Sky Sports.

“We had a couple of good moments but if you look at the stats you see how good they defend.

“Gabriel and Saliba are really good and very physical. We got in some good crossing areas and almost went 1-0 ahead when we hit the post but they are a difficult team to play when you have no attackers. We tried to use our pressing.”

Arsenal have kept the most clean sheets (15) in 33 Premier League games in 2023-24, conceding the least goals (26), and they need their defence at its best in their remaining five games of the campaign.

They return to action on Tuesday when they host Chelsea in the London derby, and both Saliba and Gabriel will be desperate to shut out the Blues.

The Gunners have what it takes to do so against the struggling Blues, and another victory will see them go four points clear of Manchester City – though Pep Guardiola’s side would have played two fewer games by then.

Nevertheless, such a temporary boost will come in handy and give Arsenal a glimmer of hope ahead of their remaining four games.

They face Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, Manchester United and Everton afterwards and will have to remain solid at the back to pick up all the maximum points and hope Man City drop points.

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