Arsene Wenger admits Sanchez omission backfired

Arsenal suffered a demoralising defeat to Liverpool yesterday.

Arsene Wenger admits Sanchez omission backfired

Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

Arsene Wenger has admitted that benching Alexis Sanchez for their Premier League clash with Liverpool yesterday 'backfired' on him.

The decision to keep Sanchez out of the starting 11 seemed to be a strange move, given that the Chile international has scored 20 goals so far this season.

The Arsenal coach eventually introduced Sanchez after half-time when his side were trying to claw back from a 2-0 deficit.

Sanchez contributed with an assist for Danny Welbeck's goal to give Arsenal a chance of chasing an equaliser. But their comeback was brushed aside by a third Liverpool goal form Georginio Wijnaldum in injury time.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Wenger admitted that the Sanchez omission 'backfired' in the end:

Image: Arsene Wenger pats Alexis Sanchez after being substituted during a Premier League game last year.

"Yes (it did backfire) but I felt that in the first half the strikers suffered because we didn't dominate in the midfield and in the second half you could see that it was easier because Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud were much better, so it's always debatable."

"The thinking was that we had to go more direct and I wanted to play two players who were strong in the air and after that to bring on Alexis Sanchez in the second half."

"We did go direct in the first half. We didn't create any chances and we didn't make enough of our corners."

"I am strong enough and lucid enough to analyse. I don't deny Alexis Sanchez is a great player - I bought him - but this was my plan."