Sanchez tre­ble fires swag­ger­ing Arse­nal

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Alexis Sanchez fired a 14-minute hat­trick as Arse­nal rose to sec­ond in the Premier League with an ir­re­press­ible 5-1 vic­tory at West Ham yes­ter­day.

Chile for­ward Sanchez was the star of the show in east Lon­don as Arse­nal moved above Liverpool and Manch­ester City with a tri­umph that was ev­ery bit as em­phatic as the score­line sug­gests. Af­ter set­ting up Me­sut Ozil for the open­ing goal in the 24th minute, Sanchez then made the match his own.

He danced away from two de­fend­ers to make it 2-0, fired home from the edge for 3-0 and, af­ter the sides had traded goals from Andy Car­roll and Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain, re­spec­tively, im­pu­dently lobbed West Ham keeper Dar­ren Ran­dolph to seal the one-sided win.

It was hard to es­cape the feel­ing that here were two Lon­don clubs trav­el­ling in op­po­site di­rec­tions. Arse­nal, now just three points be­hind lead­ers Chelsea, were su­pe­rior in ev­ery de­part­ment. With space in which to op­er­ate with free­dom in front of the West Ham back four, Sanchez and Ozil danced to their own tune.

On the other hand, fourth bot­tom West Ham ap­pear to be hav­ing the breath sucked out of them by the twin fail­ures of adapt­ing to their new home and re­cap­tur­ing last year’s com­pelling form.The vis­i­tors moved for­ward at will. Ozil and Sanchez ex­changed passes in the 13th minute be­fore a low cross from the over­lap­ping Na­cho Mon­real was poked out of the path of the in­com­ing Sanchez by Win­ston Reid.

Next, from an in­swing­ing Mon­real cor­ner, Shko­dran Mustafi’s down­ward header just evaded the out­stretched leg of Lau­rent Ko­scielny.

DE­LIGHT­FUL

By then, West Ham had al­ready suf­fered the dis­rup­tion of los­ing James Collins to a mus­cle in­jury in only the sev­enth minute.

The home side fi­nally roused them­selves af­ter 18 min­utes when Dim­itri Payet played a de­light­ful pass through the Arse­nal de­fence to Manuel Lanzini, who dal­lied too long be­fore shoot­ing when the an­gle be­came too acute to beat Petr Cech in the Arse­nal goal.

That was no more than an in­ter­lude in the game’s mo­tif and it came as no sur­prise when Arse­nal took the lead. An­gelo Og­bonna’s pass out of de­fence was cut out by Fran­cis Co­quelin. The ball fell into the path of Sanchez who skipped past a West Ham de­fender be­fore squar­ing for Ozil to side-foot home. Chances came and went for Arsene Wenger’s side, firstly for Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain who then slipped Sanchez into space only for the Chilean to take an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic heavy touch as he at­tempted to go round Ran­dolph. If the sec­ond half be­gan at a slower pace which of­fered West Ham some hope, their best chance fell to Ash­ley Fletcher whose shot flew inches past the post.

Nor­mal ser­vice was re­sumed when Mon­real raced to the by­line and cut the ball back for Arse­nal sub­sti­tute Aaron Ram­sey, whose closerange shot was kicked away by Ran­dolph.

It set the stage for Sanchez who, with the ball glued to his feet, turned Arthur Ma­suaku then sprinted away from him into the box and as Og­bonna stood off him, drilled a low shot across Ran­dolph and into the far cor­ner.

Eight min­utes later he took his chance with a low shot from the edge of the box when the West Ham de­fence backed off him and Ran­dolph went down too late to stop it.

That was part of a crazy fi­nale. Within the space of 60 sec­onds, West Ham pulled one back when sub­sti­tute Car­roll re­acted quick­est to head home af­ter a Payet free-kick had bounced down from the bar and then Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain curled home from 20 yards to make it 4-1.

That only left Sanchez to seal his vir­tu­oso dis­play by latch­ing on to an Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain pass and lift­ing the ball over Ran­dolph for his hat-trick. —

Arse­nal's Alexis Sanchez cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing a goal dur­ing the English Premier League soc­cer match be­tween West Ham United and Arse­nal at The Lon­don Sta­dium in Lon­don, yes­ter­day

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