LONDON – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger poured yet more praise on match winner Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean snatched a dramatic late winner in a crucial 1-0 success against Southampton at Emirates Stadium.
The Chilean’s 89th-minute winner at the Emirates was the only goal of the game and took Arsenal to within three points of third-placed Saints.
It was also a 14th goal in 18 games for Sanchez, and in the aftermath of the game Wenger was struggling to recall any player who has adapted so seamlessly to a new environment.
“Alexis is one of the players who had to dig deep, but he still had such desire to fight,” the Arsenal boss said. “He always finds something special to get a goal,” he added.
“It’s difficult to find examples of someone who has settled at a club so quickly. He arrived in July and now it’s December. When you look at the number of goals he has and the impact he has on the team, it’s fabulous.”
Arsenal were repeatedly frustrated by visiting goalkeeper Fraser Forster, none more so than substitute Olivier Giroud, until the breakthrough came with Saints down to 10 men having made all three changes before losing Toby Alderweireld to injury.
Wenger noted Giroud’s impact from the bench and said: “We deserved that because we gave very few chances away and had more chances than Southampton – and because we kept a clean sheet.
It was a bit hard to get going at the start because we’d given a lot against Borussia Dortmund and West Brom. This was our third game in eight days. We had to dig deep against a good team that is very well organized. We had to be patient and wait for our chances.
“We have the right attitude and a good solidarity in the team, a good focus, and that’s a good basis for us. It was important to win because we lost our last home game and you could see the crowd was nervous,” Arsenal boss concluded.
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