Arsene Wenger admits Alexis Sanchez overruled him in playing on at The Hawthorns – as Chilean suffers possible ankle ligament damage
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal’s star forward Alexis Sanchez may have ankle ligament damage after under-fire boss Arsene Wenger admitted the Chilean overruled him in staying on the pitch during their dreadful 3-1 defeat at West Brom today.
The 28-year-old’s right ankle was described by the long-serving Frenchman as being in an ‘absolutely terrible state’ after a first half challenge by former Wigan player James McClean.
However, the Topocilla-born frontman – who hit his 18th goal in 25 Premier League starts at The Hawthorns as the Gunners were outclassed by Tony Pulis’ vibrant team – played on until deep in the second half before he was substituted for Alex Iwobi with 12 minutes remaining.
Arsenal will monitor any potential ligament injury but under-pressure Wenger conceded after the match that Sanchez “should not have played in the second half but he insisted that he wanted to – in the end we had to take him off.”
The North Lonodoner’s next match is after the international break on Sunday, April 2 against FA Cup semi-final opponents Manchester City but Sanchez is in Chile’s squad for World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Venezuela with the game against Edgardo Bauza’s Albicesleste in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
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Asked if Sanchez would be fit to play for his country, Wenger said: “If it’s only a kick, he will play. If the ligament is damaged, he will not play.”
It was a dispiriting day for Wenger in terms of injuries after experienced goalkeeper Petr Cech had to be replaced by David Ospina on 37 minutes to a calf injury at as Arsenal fell to a third 3-1 defeat on the road in a row, following losses at Chelsea, Anfield and now The Hawthorns – suffering their fourth defeat in five league games.
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The result now leaves them five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool with a game in hand.
Wenger caused more speculation by saying after the game that he had already decided on his future, saying: “I know what I will do – you will know soon, very soon.
You will see. We are in a unique bad patch we have never had in 20 years where we lose game after game. That is more important.
“We have a big fight to finish in the top four – it will be very difficult now.
“If we don’t do it we have to live with the consequences.”