‘Dangerous’ Sanchez pleases Wenger

Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed “dangerous” Alexis Sanchez after the Chile forward scored twice to help beat Burnley 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez has impressed following a £30million move from Barcelona after the World Cup, and his industry was rewarded on 70 minutes with a powerful header, having earlier been denied by fine saves by busy keeper Tom Heaton as Burnley held off the Gunners’ onslaught with a string of blocks by the dogged defence.

England defender Calum Chambers netted a quick-fire second two minutes later, lashing in his first Arsenal goal following a corner, with both Heaton and the woodwork saving Burnley further after Theo Walcott had made a welcome return off the substitutes bench from a long-term knee injury.

Sanchez waltzed in a third during stoppage time – his 10th of the season – as Arsenal moved above West Ham on goal difference, and level with Manchester City, who play on Sunday.

“The header he scored is more the result of determination and desire than doing something special technically,” said Wenger, who had described Sanchez as a ‘street footballer’ in the build-up to the match.

“He has the attributes of a fighter and of a quality, talented player. That’s what you want to see in every football player.”

Wenger continued: “Since he has played through the middle he looks more dangerous because he is in full confidence, is physically strong, he likes to take people on as well and he makes perfect runs.”

After a somewhat inconsistent start to the new campaign and a run of injuries, Arsenal are now finding some momentum, having won at Sunderland last weekend on the back of a dramatic stoppage-time Champions League victory away to Anderlecht.

Wenger was happy with the way his side remained calm and eventually broke through what had been a determined Burnley defensive display.

“We had a strong team pressure and we had to intensify that in the second half, which we did,” he said.

“Slowly you could see that the chances were coming and at the end of the day, it became easy when it was 2-0. Overall I think it was a very satisfying win.”

Wenger was pleased to see Walcott come back after so long out, his last appearance coming in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham during January.

“It is good I could give him 12 or 13 minutes today when the game was nearly won,” said Wenger.

“His decision making and movement are good – he just needs to get used to competition.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, meanwhile, was left in awe of Sanchez’s display.

“His movement and energy was incredible,” said Dyche.

“He was non-stop, forget about his quality, his determination was excellent.

“I have told my strikers to look at how he played and take heed.”

Burnley remain bottom and continue to search for a first league win since promotion.

Dyche said: “So far this season, we have played six out of the top 10 and we are not ready for that.

“I always plan to win, but there are teams more in our market than others.

“Once Arsenal got their noses in front, they were clinical. They put us to the sword, but they are a very good side.”

Dyche, though, will remain ever positive.

“I am a young manager, but there is no naivety and I am learning a lot,” he said.

“If we don’t win eventually fans will question it, but we are honest and open about it,” he said.

“We have taken the fans on a journey they probably didn’t think they would have that journey again.”

Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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