On Thursday, Arsenal managed to scrape a win against an on-form Wolves side, after going a man down in the 69th minute.
Despite an impressive string of results in October and November, Arsenal went into this match having not won a game in any of their last five.
Wolves, on the other hand, had come out victorious in their previous three Premier League games, including a 1-0 win against Manchester United.
From the onset, Arsenal looked determined to change their recent fortunes, and an early Alexandre Lacazette assist led to defender Gabriel bundling in his third goal of the campaign, putting the visitors ahead within 25 minutes.
This marks the only first-half goal that Wolves have conceded in the Premier League since October, while being only the second time that Arsenal have scored this year.
However, a bizarre red card – the team’s fourth in six matches – made for an unnecessarily complicated end to the game for the Gunners.
Michael Oliver handed Martinelli two yellow cards in the samepassage of play, for two separate incidents.
Martinelli first pushed Wolves’ Podence as he was taking a throw-in, to which the referee rightly gave the home side the advantage.
While tracking back to defend, Martinelli tripped and fouled Chiquinho, putting an end to the Wolves counter-attack, in what one commentator described as “a double-offence”.
Michael Oliver pointed back to where the first foul occurred and booked the Arsenal forward, before pointing towards the location of the second foul and brandishing a second yellow.
Arteta described the peculiar turn of events as “worrying”, saying that he hadn’t “seen a red card like this in 18 years that [he’s] been in this league”.
Arguably more concerning is that this is Arsenal’s fifth red card of the season, and the fourth in their last six games.
Since the beginning of January, Gabriel has been sent off against Manchester City, Xhaka against Liverpool in the first leg of the EFL cup and Partey against Liverpool in the second leg.
Going down to 10 men is never easy, and perhaps explains why Arsenal have struggled as of late.
Wolves will be disappointed not to have capitalised on their opponent’s player-disadvantage, having had greater possession and more attempts on goal by the time the final whistle was blown.
Bruno Lage’s squad even had a goal disallowed following Martinelli’s dismissal.
The result boosts Arsenal’s hopes of earning a spot in the Champions League, placing them in fifth, above Manchester United on goal difference alone.
Wolves’ hopes of snatching a seventh-place spot from Tottenham were dashed, but an away win against the London-based club on Sunday would put them ahead by a single-point, and within reaching distance of European football.