Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails Alexis Sanchez's 'killer instinct'

Arsene Wenger felt Alexis Sanchez showed the "killer instinct" of a world-class striker after he tore West Ham to shreds.

Sanchez hit a sparkling second-half hat-trick to fire Arsenal up to second in the Premier League with a 5-1 demolition of the Hammers.

Arsenal fans have long bemoaned Wenger's inability to sign a 20-goal a season forward to fire them to the title.

But the Frenchman looks like he has finally struck gold after moving the Chile international from midfield into attack.

"I think he likes the position," the Gunners manager said.

"When it comes off and he walks off with the ball under his arm it's a good feeling and I hope there is more to come.

"The leading strikers in world football at the moment are South American.

"He has all the ingredients to be a top-class striker and he showed that again. He's quick, he can dribble, and he has the killer instinct."

Sanchez unselfishly set up Mesut Ozil for Arsenal's 23rd-minute opener, but the visitors had to wait until 18 minutes from the end to double their lead.

It was worth the wait, though, as Sanchez burst into the penalty area, brushing off Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna before drilling his shot across Darren Randolph.

Sanchez crashed in the third from the edge of the area with 10 minutes remaining to spark an exodus from disgruntled home fans at the London Stadium.

Andy Carroll emerged from the bench after three-and-a-half months out to pull one back for West Ham, but moments later Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored the three-goal cushion.

And Sanchez completed his treble in style, racing onto Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass and putting Randolph on his backside with a cute dummy before clipping home.

By contrast to Arsenal's relentless energy, West Ham were abject and manager Slaven Bilic's position is coming under increasing scrutiny.

"I'm very disappointed, frustrated, and humiliated," admitted Bilic. "I want to say sorry to the fans and to the club. It was really bad.

"I feel responsible. Somewhere along the line we lost the intensity in training. We don't do it all the time, only occasionally, and that's why we can't do it in games.

"We can't rely only on quality if you don't have the intensity required at this level. It's my responsibility as a manager and I have to get it back.

"We are in relegation fight. Of course the players know. It's not that they don't care. But t doesn't look like we know that.

"We are together. It's about time we realised our situation and what we have to do to get ourselves out of it.

"I am very optimistic, I never give up. I'm positive I can turn this around. Do I enjoy this? No. Do I feel pressure? Yes. But I am positive.

"Did I do enough last year to get some credit? Yes, I think I did. But I know how football works."

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