Sanchez keeps Arse­nal in hunt

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

ARSE­NAL closed the gap on Premier League lead­ers Chelsea as Alexis Sanchez bagged 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 fourth-placed Arse­nal, who are now un­beaten in their last 19 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions and firmly in the ti­tle race. Even Wenger con­ceded Arse­nal had lost their mo­men­tum of late and, in a bid to re­vi­talise his team, the boss made seven changes from the mid­week draw against Paris Saint-Ger­main.

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 back­pass 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. — Su­perS­port

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