Arse­nal on fire

> Sanchez dou­ble keeps Gun­ners in ti­tle hunt

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSE­NAL closed the gap on Premier League lead­ers Chelsea as Alexis Sanchez bragged a brace in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth yes­ter­day.

Arsene Wenger’s side are within three points of top spot af­ter Chile for­ward Sanchez struck in each half at the Emi­rates Sta­dium to take his goal tally for the sea­son to 10.

Sanchez gave Arse­nal an early lead be­fore Cal­lum Wil­son equalised with a penalty be­fore the in­ter­val.

Theo Wal­cott headed Arse­nal back in front just 24 hours af­ter the birth of his sec­ond child and Sanchez wrapped up the points.

Af­ter draw­ing three of their last four league games to fall six points be­hind Chelsea, this was a timely vic­tory for fourth­placed Arse­nal, who are now un­beaten in their last 19 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions and firmly in the ti­tle race.

France striker Olivier Giroud dropped to the bench and there was a re­call for right-back Mathieu De­buchy, who last played for Arse­nal in Novem­ber 2015.

On-loan Arse­nal mid­fielder Jack Wil­shere was in­el­i­gi­ble to play for Bournemouth against his par­ent club, but his ab­sence didn’t stop the vis­i­tors stick­ing to man­ager Ed­die Howe’s phi­los­o­phy of play­ing out from the back. It proved a fa­tal in­dul­gence in the 12th minute.

Bournemouth goal­keeper Adam Fed­erici rolled the ball out to Steve Cook on the left and in­stead of knock­ing it long un­der pres­sure, the de­fender tried a back-pass that was in­ter­cepted by Sanchez, who glee­fully slot­ted into the empty net.

Wil­shere, watch­ing from the stands, buried his head in his coat as in­jured Arse­nal team­mate Danny Wel­beck turned to in­dulge in some ban­ter with his friend.

Sanchez caused more chaos in the Bournemouth de­fence mo­ments later with a surg­ing run that ended with con­tact from Nathan Ake, but no foul was given by ref­eree Mike Jones as Arse­nal ap­pealed for a penalty.

If that was frus­trat­ing for Arse­nal, there was worse to come at the hands of Jones in the 23rd minute when he gave Bournemouth a de­bat­able penalty for Na­cho Mon­real’s col­li­sion with Wil­son, who picked him­self up to slot home his club’s first ever goal against the Gun­ners.

Just be­fore Bournemouth’s lev­eller, De­buchy’s re­turn had come to a pre­ma­ture end when he limped off with the lat­est in a long line of in­juries.

Arse­nal are usu­ally the ones be­witch­ing their op­po­nents with slick pass­ing, but they were get­ting a taste of their own medicine from Bournemouth as

AFPPIX

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith (left) vies with Arse­nal’s Alexis Sanchez dur­ing their English Premier League match yes­ter­day. –

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