Wenger: Sanchez back to his best – after double strike sees Arsenal down West Brom 2-0

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates with Hector Bellerin (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates with Hector Bellerin (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez is back to his best after his double strike downed West Brom tonight – while the manager added he wasn’t ‘clever enough’ to understand why there were so many empty seats at The Emirates this evening.

The Gunners beat an unadventurous West Bromwich Albion side led by Tony Pulis 2-0 with two first half goals from a lively Sanchez sealing the victory.

The home team had drawn their previous two matches but the Chilean calmed any troubled nerves with an intelligent low shot on the turn from outside the box to make it 1-0 on only six minutes – also stalling any potential disquiet from disgruntled fans.

He then doubled his tally with a well-worked free kick eight minutes before half time to seal the game.

Wenger said afterwards: “Yes, Sanchez is back sharper, more confident. Overall – particularly in the first half – I think he was exceptional.

“We did the job in a serious way and technically we played well.

“The only regret is we should have scored more goals – but the quality of our game was very good with the victory.”

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The win now moves Arsenal into third place above Manchester City, and five points behind Tottenham.

Their straightforward triumph helps ease concerns the club could miss out on an all-important top four spot – with the North Londoner’s now standing four points clear of Manchester United in fifth.

Wenger said: “The early goal helped the team to focus rather than being anxious. The early goal was important.”

However, when pressed on the number of empty seats in the ground tonight Wenger was more circumspect.

He said: “I am not intelligent enough to understand why they were empty seats. Perhaps it was because Masterchef was on TV.”

Defeated Baggies boss Tony Pulis added: “Arsenal were the better team tonight. They are a quality side.”