ARSENAL strengthened their grip on a Champions League spot as early goals from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott put them on the way to a comfortable win over 10-man Wolves at Molineux.
Van Persie scored the opener from the penalty spot after Wolves’ on-loan defender Sebastien Bassong was sent off for bringing down Walcott, who added a second a minute later.
Yossi Benayoun netted the third after the break and the Gunners are now five points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League with just five games remaining. After only eight minutes Van Persie put Arsenal ahead from the penalty spot as Wolves were reduced to 10 men.
On loan Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong was adjudged to have brought down Theo Walcott as he raced onto Yossi Benayoun’s pass and was red carded by referee Neil Swarbrick.
Up stepped Van Persie and he dinked the ball over Hennessey after he had dived to the right for his 34th goal of the season and first in five matches.
Wolves could not handle the pace of Walcott and he doubled Arsenal’s lead after 10 minutes. The England player exchanged passes with Van Persie before curling the ball past Hennessey into the corner of the net.
In a rare Wolves attack Christophe Berra had a header deflected wide from a Michael Kightly corner.
Wolves’ Richard Stearman appeared to push Van Persie to the floor in an off the ball incident although Alex Song seemed more aggrieved than the Dutchman.
Arsenal made it 3-0 after 68 minutes when Milijas lost the ball in midfield and Song teed up Benayoun 20 yards out to beat Hennessey with a low drive.
Wolves tired to bag a consolation with Steven Fletcher drilled a low shot across the face of goal and Wojciech Szczesny turned aside a Nenad Milijas drive.