Arsenal gave their European hopes a major boost with a 2-0 win away to Wolves on Saturday.
A goal from Bukayo Saka, who this week signed a new long-term contract with the club, and a late strike from substitute Alexandre Lacazette extended the Gunners’ winning run to four in all competitions.
It also lifts them into seventh in the table, three points behind Wolves and six adrift of fourth-place Manchester United, who earlier beat Bournemouth 5-2 at Old Trafford.
Although Chelsea can go back into the top four if they defeat Watford, the result at least keeps Arsenal’s hopes of a Champions League return alive at the start of a difficult run of games that includes a north London derby and meetings with two of the top three.
Adama Traore twice tested Emiliano Martinez in the opening 10 minutes before Eddie Nketiah saw a shot turned onto the base of the right-hand post.
Arsenal found a breakthrough 43 minutes into a half of few chances, Saka steering a left-foot half-volley past Rui Patricio after Kieran Tierney’s cross deflected into his path.
Wolves assumed control in the second half as Arsenal dropped deeper, and Traore lifted a golden chance over the crossbar after racing through on Martinez’s goal.
The pressure continued but Arsenal’s defence, so often criticised this season, restricted Wolves to zero shots on target in the second half, which will likely have thrilled boss Mikel Arteta.
Lacazette made the win safe with four minutes of normal time left, gathering Joe Willock’s low cross and finishing across Patricio, and only a Ruben Neves clearance on the line denied Willock a third.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
WOLVES (3-5-2): Patricio 7; Boly6, Coady 6, Saiss 6; Doherty 6 (Neto 71 6), Dendoncker 6 (Jota 55 7), Neves 5.5, Moutinho 6 (Gibbs-White 88), Jonny 6.5; Jimenez 6.5, Traore 7
SUBS NOT USED: Ruddy (Gk), Vinagre, Campana, Kilman, Buur, Jordao
BOOKED: Saiss, Coady
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Martinez 7; Mustafi 6, Luiz 7.5, Kolasinac 7; Soares 6.5 (Bellerin 75 6), Xhaka 6.5, Ceballos 6.5 (Torreira 82), Tierney 7 (Maitland-Niles 56 7); Saka 7 (Willock 75 6), Nketiah 6.5 (Lacazette 82), Aubameyang 7
SUBS NOT USED: Macey (Gk), Papastathopoulos, Holding, Nelson
GOALS: Saka 43, Lacazette 86
BOOKED: Luiz, Maitland-Niles
REFEREE: Michael Oliver 7