Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal boss Wenger full of praise for resilience of Sanchez

By Mark Critchley

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed Alexis Sanchez's 'gut' following his match-winning display in the victory over Bournemouth on Sunday.

The Chile international capitalised on a misplaced back pass to open the scoring in a 3-1 home win at the Emirates, before adding the third in stoppage time to secure the three points.

Sanchez was also booked in the second half for a late and dangerous tackle on Bournemouth's Harry Arter, but Wenger had words of praise rather than reproach for his forward.

"Even when he looks dead he's still alive," Wenger said. "He finds always the resources to do something special. He has that 'gut' conditioning that when the ball comes to him again, he finds always that extra gear to be dangerous."

"I don't think there was a desire to hurt Arter," he added, referring to the tackle which earned Sanchez a caution.

"He hurt him yes, because it was late, but I don't think it was with excessive force or violence, he was just too late to take the ball. He did not want to injure Arter."

Wenger also revealed that Olivier Giroud may face a spell on the sidelines, after appearing to tweak in hamstring in the final stages of the game.

Earlier, Mathieu Debuchy, making his first appearance of the season, had been forced to leave the field after just 15 minutes.

On Giroud, Wenger said: "He felt a twitch at the back of his hamstring and I hope it's not too bad, but he told me after when he sprinted he didn't feel anything.

"Debuchy, he thinks its a severe one. I have to speak to medical people. You can only assess it after 48 hours.

Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager, did not see Sanchez's challenge on Arter as malicious either, but claimed that his player was still not happy with the tackle after the final whistle.

"It didn't spring to my mind but I'm only going off my first look," Howe said. "I know Harry wasn't happy when I saw him in the dressing room, but we'll wait and see to review that.

"I thought we were very good today. It's very difficult when you go 1-0 down in a game, especially in the manner that we conceded, an individual mistake.

"The group's playing very well. It was easy then to go under, but we didn't. We grew into the game, had some very good spells on the ball, created a number of chances.

"There was very little in the end between the two teams."

ARSENAL: Cech, Debuchy (Gabriel, 16 mins), Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Walcott (Giroud, 75 mins), Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey, 75 mins), Sanchez. Unused subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Coquelin, Iwobi.

BOURNEMOUTH: Federici, Francis, Cook, Ake, B Smith (Mousset, 81 mins), A Smith, Arter, Gosling, Stanislas (Ibe, 71 mins), King , Wilson (Afobe, 63 mins). Unused subs: Allsop, Pugh, Fraser, Mings.

Referee: Mike Jones

Man of the match: Alexis Sanchez

Match rating: 7/10

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