Arsene Wenger’s side were struggling to see off relegated
Despite refusing to sign a new contract, Sanchez remains the only Arsenal player consistently performing at a world-class standard. And the former
In reality, the fifth-placed Gunners need a miracle to qualify for the Champions League for a 20th successive season.
Arsenal’s sixth win in their last seven games moved them within one point of fourth-placed Liverpool, but there was bad news from Eastlands, where
Arsenal host Everton on Sunday, while Liverpool entertain relegated Middlesbrough and third-placed City travel to
Wenger’s approval ratings are at an all-time low with Arsenal’s disenchanted supporters, and it will be fascinating to see if he decides to stay if the top four proves beyond reach.
Wenger had urged fans not to boycott the
Sanchez thought he’d given Arsenal an early lead when his 20-yard strike flashed past
Olivier Giroud was the culprit after flicking the ball goalwards with his arm, and the Arsenal striker wasted a chance to redeem himself moments later when his close-range effort was pushed away by Pickford.
Wenger moaned this week that Arsenal’s top-four rivals were benefiting from playing teams with their minds already on their holidays, ignoring the fact the Gunners enjoyed victories over a Manchester United side more concerned with the Europa League final and a Stoke team with nothing to play for.
A sharp stop from Pickford prevented Aaron Ramsey converting Mesut Ozil’s pass, while Hector Bellerin curled just over before Granit Xhaka’s strike skidded wide.
Never totally convincing at the back, Arsenal were almost breached against the run of play when Didier N’Dong tested Petr Cech, who then had to save from Jermain Defoe.
That sparked another flurry of Arsenal pressure, but both Bellerin and Ramsey shot into the side-netting, while Rob Holding headed straight at Pickford.
News of City’s goals against
That foreshadowed a nervous period for Arsenal, who looked short of ideas in the final third, and after Giroud glanced a header wide, Wenger sent on Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi.
When the breakthrough finally arrived in the 72nd minute, inevitably it was Sanchez who saved the day, tapping in from virtually on the line after Ozil’s pass had unhinged the
Sanchez wasn’t finished yet, and he doubled Arsenal’s lead with a close-range header from Giroud’s flick eight minutes later.
Whether it will be enough to save Arsenal’s dispiriting season remains to be seen.