Arsene Wenger has revealed that he only made the decision to start Alexis Sanchez at 4pm yesterday, believing that once he crossed the white line the thigh problem he picked up at Stoke wouldn’t be an issue.
As it turned out, the manager was proved right after the Chilean scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Sunderland.
He got on the end of Mesut Ozil’s lovely cushioned pass to open the scoring, and was there to knock home the rebound after Olivier Giroud’s hooked effort had been palmed away Jordan Pickford.
Speaking afterwards, Wenger said, “With him, I feel he had something still left, but once he’s on the pitch and gets the ball, he always becomes a devil and forgets his pain.”
And with his contract heading towards its final year, Wenger reminded the top scorer of how Arsenal has been good for him since he joined in 2014.
“Nobody questions his desire and his quality,” he said. “It shows as well that if you look at his numbers, he has developed here as a player and has become a top-class player and has not wasted his time here.
“Hopefully that will last for a long time.”