Mikel Arteta appeared to taunt the Wolves bench at full-time after his Arsenal side secured a last-gasp comeback win over their top-four rivals. The Gunners took – what felt like – a big step towards Champions League qualification as Alexandre Lacazette’s 95th-minute winner sparked pandemonium at the Emirates Stadium.
Wolves looked on course to grind out a 1-0 victory before two Arteta substitutions swung the balance of the contest.
Nicolas Pepe levelled things up while Eddie Nketiah helped provide an extra attacking threat in the final third.
Arsenal had been left frustrated by Wolves’ time-wasting during the clash as the visitors tried to protect their lead.
First right-back Nelson Semedo went down injured and while he was legitimately carrying a problem it took Wolves three minutes to make a substitution.
Then, at full-time after sharing a moment with his staff, Arteta breezed towards the Wolves bench while pointing to his watch.
The goading appeared to be a reference towards the amount of time Wolves wasted in their attempts to hang onto victory.
There was mutual respect between both managers after the game though when all was said and done.
Classily, Lage even confessed he had no problem with Arsenal’s ecstatic celebrations, citing the uncontrollable emotions you experience after a late winner.
He also offered clarity on the substitution involving Jimenez, stating it was a genuine mix-up involving numbers.
“My plan was to manage the game in a different way,” said Lage, who apologised to Arteta. “I had already had that situation with Nelson (Semedo) and I wanted to put Fabio (Silva) on for Raul and Leander for Podence to close the game.
“It was a lack of communication between me and my staff and the fourth official, that’s why I talked with the referee and apologised. It was my fault.
“I went to the Arsenal bench and said the same thing to Arteta, ‘Sorry about that’, because in my mind I never did that to waste time.”
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