Sutton United chairman Bruce Elliott has described Arsene Wenger’s decision to play Alexis Sanchez in the final 16 minutes of last night’s FA Cup tie as ‘a touch of class’.
Gander Green Lane’s packed terraces were treated to a cameo from the Chile international despite concerns over the 3G pitch and with the Gunners already two goals to the good.
Afterwards, the boss played down suggestions that it was an unnecessary risk and later, behind closed doors, appears to have hinted his star man was sent on to honour the minnows amazing cup run.
Reflecting on a memorable night for his club, Elliott spoke with admiration of Arsenal’s behaviour and shed light on his chinwag with Wenger.
“What I can’t forget is the wonderful behaviour of everyone at Arsenal and a great chat I had with manager Arsene Wenger in the away dressing room after the match,” he wrote in the Evening Standard.
“We spent two minutes talking about the game, football and I must admit I found him to be a perfect gentleman.
“He knew what it was like to be in small changing rooms from his time working in France many years ago.
“But it was during our chat that I was given the impression that he brought on Alexis Sanchez late on in the tie because he knew what it would mean to us and all the fans that were watching.
“I know the decision to bring him on surprised a few, but I thought it was a real touch of class.
“I was sitting up in the stands at the time and our manager Paul Doswell came out of the dug-out, looked at me and pointed at Sanchez coming on. The look on his face said it all.”
After a very special night, it has also been confirmed that Arsenal will be donating £50,000 to Sutton to help build two classrooms, that the club presented a silver cannon rather than pennant prior to kick-off, that the players left all their shirts in the away dressing room and that captain Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed autographs for their opponents.
The Arsenal players all left their shirts behind. The Sutton players are going to hand them out in dressing room at next match pic.twitter.com/RZd7vWEk8i
— AmyLewisSport (@AmyLewisSport) February 21, 2017
Who says the magic of the FA Cup is dying?