Wenger drops Sanchez, pays price in latest Arsenal setback
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Mar 07, 2017,
Mar 07, 2017, 0:43
The Arsenal manager, whose future at the Emirates Stadium is a subject of speculation, took the surprising decision to name Sanchez to the bench, bringing on the Chilean global at halftime.
Arsene Wenger compared being a manager to being a priest and on Saturday many Gunners fans felt he had committed the sin of omission.
Yes, completely false. But I understand that you have to fill the newspapers and we respect that.
The game was just 10 minutes old when Mane's low cross evaded both Arsenal centre-halves to allow Firmino to take a touch and fire high into the net for his first goal in seven matches but third in four league matches against the north Londoners.
Wenger had explained that tactical factors had been the "unique reason" for his decision to start with Sanchez on the bench at Anfield, where the taller Olivier Giroud and Welbeck started up front.
When the rest of the squad had finished the session, one player, who has not been named by the BBC, had to be held back from physically engaging Sanchez as tempers flared once more.
The Chilean forward, 28, seemed all set to leave the Emirates following a rumoured bust up with Arsene Wenger and his team-mates. He was confronted by team-mates on their return to the changing room as tempers flared.
"Nothing happened, nothing at all", Wenger said.
Wenger surprisingly dropped Sanchez to the bench for the crucial clash at Anfield before bringing him on in the second half of the 3-1 loss, when the Gunners were already 2-0 down.
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The team dropped to fifth place in the Premier League by losing at Liverpool and faces Champions League elimination on Tuesday unless it can overturn a 5-1 deficit against Bayern Munich.
"What do you want to learn first - be consistent or beat the best teams in the world?"
Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp's, 49, has proved The Reds are as inconsistent as they are thrilling.
The episode casts further doubt over Sánchez's future, with Paris St-Germain the front-runners ahead of Juventus to sign the Chile striker this summer amid mounting concern over his failure to sign a new contract.
Liverpool sealed victory in stoppage time through Georginio Wijnaldum's goal on the break to clinch only its second win in eight league matches in 2017.
Chelsea, still the runaway leaders on 63 points, play at West Ham United on Monday while, on Sunday, second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, on 53, host Everton, and Manchester City, 52, visit Sunderland.
Arsene Wenger stated in the post-match press conference that they had made a decision to go for a more direct approach which is the reason why someone strong in the air, like Olivier Giroud was selected ahead of Alexis Sanchez.
"You need exceptional results and Chelsea to fail so I think it is more important to focus on our next game rather than dreaming of coming back to Chelsea".