Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits: I don’t know why Alexis Sanchez took missed penalty from Santi Cazorla
18:46 17 September 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted he was unsure as to why Alexis Sanchez assumed penalty talking duties from Santi Cazorla before promptly missing his effort during his side’s 4-1 win at the KMOC Stadium this afternoon.
The Gunners went ahead through a goal eventually credited to Sanchez after it took a slight touch off him after an Alex Iwobi shot that beat keeper Eldin Jakupovic.
But with five minutes left to half time there was controversy after Theo Walcott’s cross found Francis Coquelin whose shot struck Jake Livermore’s arm.
Referee East immediately pointed to the spot and promptly sent off the former Spurs man.
It may have seemed harsh but despite recent rule changes you can still be sent off for deliberate handball – which as his hand was away from his body seemed the only sensible decision to take, despite the anger from the home fans.
However with the crowd howling and Livermore not even off the pitch an eager Sanchez appeared to snatch at the penalty, directing it near to Jakupovic’s right, who guessed correctly and kept it out.
Cazorla was far too professional to show his annoyance but after an impressive start to the season by the two-footed forward who has converted two penalties and two assists so far this season.
Walcott then made it 2-0 on 55 minutes and, although Robert Snodgrass pulled one back from a penalty on 79 minutes, Sanchez made it 3-1 with seven minutes left. Granit Xhaka then made it 4-1 with a sublime – and hugely enjoyable to watch – sweet swerving left-foot strike from 25 yards.
Wenger when asked afterwards conceded: “Santi’s top of our penalty takers list.
“I don’t know why Alexis took it. Maybe Santi didn’t want to.”
He was on surer ground when he praised his team for their 4-1 victory. He said: “I am satisfied, yes.
“It was a good team performance in two different match situations.
“At 11 versus 11 I felt we played well. When you play 11 against 10 it’s not the same mentally or psychologically but we remained serious and we won the game in a convincing way overall.”
Hull City boss Mike Phelan added: “It’s very difficult to play against an Arsenal team of 10 players – let alone 11.”
On revealing he has been offered new terms as manager he quipped: “Everybody wants to be Arsene Wenger with a 10-year contract.”