Arsenal boss praises ‘on fire’ Sanchez after 5-2 win at Everton as ‘superb’ Ozil also shines
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for the quality of their performances during his side’s 5-2 thrashing of Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday lunchtime.
The Gunners romped home against under-fire Ronald Koeman’s ten man Toffees despite falling behind to a superb Wayne Rooney strike that was reminiscent of the goal he scored against the North Londoners to launch his career – 15 years and three days later.
But Wenger’s men rallied and equalised before half time through a Nacho Monreal effort. Ozil then netted with a header after a cross from Sanchez before Alexandre Lacazette made it 3-1.
Idrissa Gueye then foolishly stamped on Ozil’s foot to receive a red card as Aaron Ramsey made it 4-1. There was still time for Oumar Niasse to pull a goal back before Sanchez crowned a stunning performance with a fifth on the whistle.
A pleased Wenger – who celebrated his 68th birthday on Sunday – said afterwards: “Alexis Sanchez was on fire. He has worked very hard coming back from injury – he and Mesut Ozil. They were very sharp and very mobile. They have good quality and it makes them dangerous against any defender.
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“Ozil was superb. Agile, quick, intelligent. Always at the service of his team. When’s he at that level he’s an exceptional player.
“When you see Mesut focused like he is today and enjoying it’s difficult to believe [transfer speculation linking him with Manchester United].”
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The long-serving Frenchman was pleased with the resilience his side showed at Goodison after their 2-1 defeat last term sparked a winter collapse.
With the side winning in the cauldron of Red Star Belgrade’s Marakana in the Europa League on Thursday it capped a good few days for the club, after the disappointment of losing tamely to Watford last weekend.
He added: “I feel the whole team were tested mentally.
“We were 1-0 down after a good start in the game where we couldn’t finish. Their keeper kept them in the game.
“It was a mental test. We kept going. We kept our focus and slowly the quality of our movement and the quality of our passing gave them problems.
“After that our offensive strengths made the difference, It was maybe the most complete offensively and defensively.
“Until now we have been punished by every little mistake at Stoke and elsewhere and today we couldn’t finish early on but if you have 28 shots on goal it is impressive.”
With Norwich City next up at the Emirates on Tuesday evening in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup Wenger again praised the depth of his squad, adding: “We just played at Belgrade with ten different players.
“I had [Olivier] Giroud on the bench, I had [Theo] Walcott on the bench, I had [Jack] Wilshere on the bench, I had [Alex] Iwobi on the bench.
“It’s top quality.”