Arsenal moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as Martin Odegaard’s second-half double proved enough to beat Wolves at Molineux.
Odegaard turned home Fabio Vieira’s low cross from close range 10 minutes after the restart and then drilled in the rebound after Jose Sa had kept out Gabriel Martinelli’s low effort 15 minutes from time.
The only negative for the visitors was the exit of Granit Xhaka in the early stages just over a week before the midfielder is due to begin his World Cup campaign with Switzerland.
The result means Arsenal will not only be top on Christmas Day for the first time since 2007 but will do so with a handy advantage over nearest challengers Manchester City.
In contrast, Wolves are now bottom as new manager Julen Lopetegui prepares to take charge.
The former Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla boss was introduced 15 minutes before kick-off at Molineux and watched the game from the stands.
He saw a microcosm of Wolves’ season given the hosts battled hard and produced some opportunities despite spending much of the game on the back foot, but were undone by a lack of goal threat as they failed to score for the eighth time in 15 top-flight games.
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