Alexis Sanchez 'recovers very quickly' says Arsene Wenger after opting not to rest the Arsenal forward

The Chile international was brilliant in victory over Hull

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manager Arsene Wenger insists Alexis Sanchez is showing no signs of fatigue after another inspired display by the Chile forward helped put FA Cup holders Arsenal into the fourth round with a 2-0 win over Hull.

There were the expected sweeping changes for both sides at the Emirates Stadium, where England forward Theo Walcott made his first Arsenal start in a year since a serious knee injury, while injury-hit Hull switched no fewer than 10 players from their Barclays Premier League win over Everton on New Year's Day.

Arsenal made the most of their positive opening, after Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell had seen an early one-on-one opportunity saved, when defender Per Mertesacker headed the home side into the lead from a corner on 20 minutes.

Any hopes of a comeback by Hull - who had raced into a 2-0 advantage in last season's FA Cup final at Wembley before losing in extra-time - were ended when Sanchez capped another man-of-the-match display with a fine curling effort on 82 minutes.

It was a 16th goal of a hugely-impressive debut season for Sanchez, who was signed from Barcelona for £32million in the summer.

Wenger admitted he was "tempted" to give Sanchez a breather, but feels the combative Chile forward does not seem like a player who needs one.

"You look at the players who have that confidence and you are torn between when a player is that confident to keep him on playing or give him a rest, but when the players are confident it is important to keep them going, especially when they have that physical potential," Wenger said.

"Sanchez recovers very quickly and he doesn't look in our tests to have any fatigue problem."

The Gunners boss added: "He has a good combination of what you want to see from top players - that means being ready for a fight and talent."

Wenger felt his side delivered a "serious performance" to get back to winning ways following the 2-0 Premier League defeat at Southampton.

The Arsenal manager was glad Walcott came through his first real test after recovering from an injury which shattered his World Cup dream.

"Theo lacks a bit of competition, but that will come. What he has done (against Hull) after being out for a year is quite positive," he said.

Wenger confirmed the imminent departure of German forward Lukas Podolski, saying only that "He is going to Inter Milan", while accepting the World Cup winner had become "frustrated" at a lack of game time.

France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo could be another allowed to leave during the January window, preferentially to somewhere in England, with Bordeaux reported to be interested.

Hull manager Steve Bruce had few complaints at the final outcome, as the injury problems mount for his side.

"We huffed and puffed, but didn't have any cutting edge to make the cup tie come alive," he said.

Bruce, who would be interested in a move for England forward Jermain Defoe if the club could afford it, is facing up to a depleted squad list as the Tigers battle for Premier League survival.

Hull confirmed on Sunday that on loan forward Gaston Ramirez would be set to "miss four to six weeks" with a thigh stain, full-back Andrew Robertson the same timeframe because of an ankle injury while defender Liam Rosenior is expected to be sidelined for up to three months with a hamstring tendon injury.

PA

Comments