Sanchez could leave after Liverpool benching, Arsenal legend says

Forced to bring on his key striker at half-time to chase the game, Wenger saw Sanchez set up a goal for Danny Welbeck before Wijnaldum sealed a deserved Liverpool victory late on.

Arsenal looked more capable than the first half but Liverpool responded well to conceding and could have extended their lead before eventually scoring a deserved third.

Unless Arsenal do manage to turn around their tie and progress to the next round, many among the Emirates faithful are likely to continue hoping this is Wenger's last season.

The North London club Arsenal are feeling the heat as former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez and German winger Ozil have delayed their expected contract extension.

"I explained after the game I chose to go for a more direct option - that was the unique reason for my decision", Wenger insisted. Quite why he dropped him completely, instead of simply playing him out wide instead, was startling considering Sanchez's importance to the team.

Wenger tried to rectify his mistake at half-time by sending on Sanchez for Francis Coquelin and, after Giroud's header was tipped on to the crossbar by Simon Mignolet, the Chile global made his mark.

"I haven't decided yet, I think I will make my decision from tomorrow morning", said the manager.

"He gives you everything, he's their biggest player by a million miles, this is the biggest game they've had because they've got to get in the top four and Wenger puts him on the bench". When you don't win games it's not always down to real stories and we have to accept that. Arsenal did struggle in the first half against Liverpool and when Sanchez came on in the second half, he clearly made a difference and it was his pass that helped Arsenal get a goal back. Arsenal were incredibly poor in the first half.

Despite having Arsenal's number in more recent head-to-head fixtures, their defence against Arsene Wenger's men has proven to be lacklustre, having failed to keep a clean sheet in their past ten home games against the Gunners.

And the Gunners boss then criticised Sanchez and referring to his body language, claimed: "Sometimes his behaviour is excessive". "He [Wenger] has options now, he has 25 options now so it's hard to decide who is playing".

A run of just two victories in 2017 may have ended any realistic title chances but the panache with which they beat Arsenal will cause concerns for their top-four rivals.

United dominated from the start at Old Trafford and went ahead through Marcos Rojo in the 23rd minute before Joshua King equalized in the 40th.

In the subsequent fracas, Bournemouth's Andrew Surman pushed Ibrahimovic over and was sent off for this second yellow card offence.

  • Stacy Allen