Arsene Wenger explains why he subbed Alexis Sanchez after Arsenal striker reacts furiously again

Wenger believes Sanchez looked sharper after being given a rest but that didn't stop the forward from disagreeing with his manager after being replaced by Danny Welbeck

Graham Clutton
Saturday 14 January 2017 19:18
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Alexis Sanchez was unhappy at being substituted during Arsenal's 4-0 win over Swansea
Alexis Sanchez was unhappy at being substituted during Arsenal's 4-0 win over Swansea

Arsene Wenger lavished praise on Alexis Sanchez after Arsenal brushed aside Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

Sanchez scored the last of Arsenal's four goals on a day when new Swansea manager Paul Clement saw precisely how big the job of keeping Swansea in the top flight, is going to be.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the 37th minute before own goals from Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton and an opportunist strike from Sanchez completed the job.

The 28-year-old Chilean, Sanchez, was eventually taken off in the final quarter as Wenger sought to give the returning Danny Welbeck some valuable game time. Sanchez appeared far from happy with the decision, but Wenger brushed over the incident.

“I thought he (Sanchez) was very sharp. I rested him for two weeks and gave him a little breather. I think he benefited from that,” said Wenger.

“I gave him another rest for today, so he will benefit from that as well. He's hugely influential.

“When you look at the numbers, he's been involved in about 25 goals in our team.

“All the players are frustrated when they come off, some show it, some not.

“I'm long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right, that's it.

“He's a good guy who gives a lot and who always wants to do well for the team. There's no problem."

Swansea started well and might have gone in front in the 10th minute when Petr Cech was called upon to push aside a firm strike from Naughton.

Three minutes later, Gylfi Sigurdsson was inches over with a shot from 20 yards after Wayne Routledge had opened up the Arsenal defence.

The visitors were disappointing. Despite plenty of possession around half way, they rarely threatened in the final third until Giroud struck eight minute from half time.

Sanchez scored Arsenal's fourth goal but was substituted soon after

The most sublime of moves involving Mesut Özil, Giroud and Aaron Ramsey created the platform and when Özil was denied with a tame header, from a Sanchez cross, Giroud pounced to convert from four yards.

Two minutes before the break, Swansea thought they had earned themselves a penalty when Ki appeared to be tripped by Laurent Koscielny after Fernando Llorente's delightful touch had opened up the Arsenal defence.

Referee Mike Jones marched up to Ki, booked the South Korean for what he felt was a dive and duly awarded Arsenal a free kick.

Arsenal began the second half at a decent pace and both Sanchez and Alex Iwobi had opportunities to score before Ramsey was denied by a desperate save, with his feet, by Fabianski.

The goal did come, however, when Iwobi's goal-bound shot looped off Cork and into the back of Fabianski's net. Game over.

Olivier Giroud scores Arsenal's first goal against Swansea

Without any genuine threat at the opposite end, Swansea were never likely to find a way back into the game. As hard as they tried, they were sent back from where they came. Routledge did have a shot saved by Cech, on the hour, but there was precious little else over which to enthuse as Arsenal duly strolled forward to victory.

A third followed 13 minutes later. Once again it was an own goal – this time Kyle Naughton turn in Iwobi's cross from the left. Then it was four. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nipped in behind, in the 74th minute, and though Routledge got his foot on the winger's cross, the ball popped up to Sanchez who scored from eight yards.

Wenger was pleased with the overall performance too, albeit after a slow start during which Swansea appeared to have turned an important corner.

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He added; “We had some problems getting going, but I put that down to the fact that Swansea played very well in the the first half.

“Certainly in the second half we took over and in the second half they couldn't follow the pace anymore."

Clement said: "Everyone knows the task at hand is a very hard one but we're all up for it.

“There are games we are not necessarily expected to win. That’s maybe one today though we could have wanted the scoreline to be much closer."

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