Alexis Sanchez defied Arsene Wenger’s advice and played in Chile’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Tuesday night, but the Arsenal manager will be delighted to see the forward come through the World Cup qualifier unscathed and score two goals in the process.
Wenger expressed his concerns of Sanchez injuring himself further if he played in Tuesday night’s match after suffering a tearing a muscle in his thigh last week, with initial fears ruling him out for up to six weeks.
That estimated time out was soon reduced to three weeks, but the player himself revealed he was determined to play in Chile’s final World Cup qualifier of the year, much to Wenger’s anger.
The Frenchman labelled any decision to play Sanchez “suicide” and feared the 27-year-old would do himself more harm than good, but it appears to be good news on the injury front as Sanchez came through 84 minutes in the win over Uruguay before being replaced by Nicolas Castillo when the match was won.
Wenger will also take heart from seeing Sanchez, who had heavy bandaging around his right thigh, continue his good form this season as he scored twice after Eduardo Vargas’s opener, with the victory lifting Chile up to fourth and an automatic qualification berth in the South American 2018 World Cup Qualifying table.
With Arsenal travelling to Manchester United on Friday ahead of their weekend Premier League encounter, Wenger will have to assess Sanchez’s fitness following a long-haul flight back to London that will see him arrive on Thursday, giving the Chilean just two days to prepare for the crunch clash.
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings
1/22 Petr Cech - 7
Sent the wrong way for Kane’s penalty but responded well minutes later to deny Eriksen down to his right. Arsenal continue to benefit from having such an experienced head between the sticks.
2/22 Hector Bellerín - 7
Bellerin was a decent threat going forward and his defensive game seems to be improving with every game. Superb tackle to deny Son after the break shows how well he is coming along in that area.
3/22 Shkodran Mustafi - 7
It looked like he might have been in for a tough afternoon after losing the lively Son on a couple of occasions early on but grew in confidence as the game wore on. Drew on his experience to keep his head during his first derby.
4/22 Laurent Koscielny - 6
Superb first half for the Gunner but silly challenge on Dembele was a costly one for his side. Kept Kane relatively quiet on his return and but marked down for penalty error.
5/22 Nacho Monreal - 7
The Spaniard has made a precarious start to the season but his form may be turning by the looks of this afternoon’s display. Keen to get forward at every opportunity and provided a solid presence for the Gunners on the left flank.
6/22 Francis Coquelin - 7
Arguably his best performance of the season. The North London derby seems to bring the best out of the Frenchman and, after getting to grips with Spurs’ new system, he was everywhere for the Gunners.
7/22 Granit Xhaka - 7
Seemed as though he may have been a liability for the Gunners taking into account his red card record but put in a composed display alongside Coquelin. Did the simple things well and provided a steady platform for Ozil, Sanchez and co to roam forward.
8/22 Theo Walcott - 7
Is the winger finally coming of age? After another decent display this afternoon it seems that might be the case. Threatened to double Arsenal’s lead with a wonderful strike just before half-time and was always a threat down the right.
9/22 Mesut Özil - 6
A pretty quiet day by his standards but the German is always a clever operator. Ozil spurned a good chance in the first half but his slick movement meant he was a threat to the Tottenham back three throughout.
10/22 Alex Iwobi - 5
Not the winger’s best day at the office but this fixture can be a difficult fixture for a young player. Wasted a great chance for the Gunners before half time and failed to utilise his power against Walker.
11/22 Alexis Sánchez - 7
Sanchez was a constant menace to the Spurs defence all afternoon and did everything but find the back of the net. The Chile international is proving to be an impressive foil for Arsenal’s other attacking players to get forward too.
12/22 Hugo Lloris - 7
Couldn’t do anything to stop Wimmer’s own goal and was reliable as ever for his side during a difficult period in the first half.
13/22 Kyle Walker - 7
Took to his wing back role like a duck to water and provided his side with great width on the right wing. Got the better of Iwobi in defence too.
14/22 Jan Vertonghen - 7
Made a very assured display and kept his concentration against a very tricky Arsenal frontline. Commanding presence in Alderweireld’s absence.
15/22 Kevin Wimmer - 5
A day to forget for the young defender. Poor own goal and looked vulnerable as Arsenal piled the pressure on afterwards. Recovered well in the second half though.
16/22 Danny Rose - 7
Slightly more defensive minded than Walker but still excelled in wing back position. Quickly becoming one of the best left backs in the league.
17/22 Eric Dier - 7
Another strong showing of Dier’s versatility after fitting into Pochettino’s back three seamlessly. Reads the game impeccably.
18/22 Son Heung-min - 6
Provided a lively presence alongside Kane up front with his darting runs in and around the striker. Denied a goal through Bellerin’s last minute challenge in the second half.
19/22 Victor Wanyama - 7
Continues to show what a clever acquisition he was this summer. Strong in the tackle and equally as composed on the ball against a top Arsenal midfield.
20/22 Moussa Dembélé - 8
Did exceptionally well to draw in Koscielny challenge to win the penalty with one of his typical mazy runs. Combined well with Wanyama in midfield.
21/22 Christian Eriksen - 7
Came close twice in the second half with well struck volley and free-kick off the post. Such a vital player for Spurs this season.
22/22 Harry Kane - 6
Did what Harry Kane does best. Score goals. Another important strike on his return and he showed just what Spurs have missed. A genuine goal scorer in the box.
Wenger and Sanchez have already clashed over his playing time and when he should be substituted, with Sanchez determined to play every match for the Gunners and remain on the pitch for the duration. The manager though has insisted he must show caution in playing Sanchez after relying on him too much last season, which led to Sanchez burning out and suffering injury when Wenger admitted he should have given him a rest.Reuse content