Arsene Wenger says he has no problem with Alexis Sanchez’s angry reaction to Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.
As referee Michael Oliver blew the full time whistle, the Chilean striker was caught on camera waving his arms in disgust, throwing his gloves to the turf and mouthing expletives as he stomped off to the dressing room.
Alexis Sanchez at full-time. Fuming over a draw. Strong, winning mentality. Top draw of a player. pic.twitter.com/6AKWyob4g0
— Kloppholic (@Kloppholic) January 3, 2017
It has since been reported that the striker refused to talk to his teammates after the game, although the boss insists he was ‘alright’.
Asked about the incident in his pre-Preston press conference, Wenger sided with his star man.
“Well, what is surprising there? You want to win the games and when you don’t win, you are unhappy – it is normal.”
He added: “Of course [you want to see passion]. Without passion, you do not come back after 70 minutes from three goals down in the Premier League.
“First of all it [the comeback] is exceptional, it doesn’t often happen in the Premier League and you need a special response, which is what happened.
“We wanted to win the game, and we didn’t do that so we are all frustrated. Of course [he is fine].”
Wenger also briefly touched on Olivier Giroud’s decision to celebrate his late equaliser – a seemingly pre-planned reference to his scorpion kick goal on New Year’s Day – admitting that he’d rather the striker had immediately raced back to the halfway line given there were still three minutes of stoppage time to play.
“Of course [I wanted him to get on with the game],” he added.
“I understand both sides, because at 3-0 down in the head of the players the game is lost, but you still want the guys to take the ball and put it in the middle of the pitch.”