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Wenger praises Alexis’s desire after United draw

Quietly thanks the gods his hamstring didn’t explode

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It’s been a week of very reasonable fitness concerns surrounding Alexis Sanchez, but having seen the forward come out the other side more or less unscathed, Arsene Wenger has been happy to lavish praise on the persistent Chilean.

After scoring twice for his national team against Argentina last week, Alexis took a 15-hour flight from Santiago to London where he was thrust back into training and started against Manchester United Saturday morning—all with his hamstring wrapped in presumably magic bandages.

“Overall, for a guy who has played a decisive game on Tuesday for Chile, or basically Wednesday morning, traveled after and had jet lag, it’s remarkable,” Wenger said after the game.

“I did it [started him] because Sánchez is a guy who can take people on and I knew that would be a quality.”

Ultimately, it wasn’t Alexis but substitute Olivier Giroud who was able to salvage a late draw at Old Trafford for the Gunners, a result Wenger hopes will build the team’s confidence. And having an unbreakable Chilean forward probably doesn’t hurt. Just kidding. Please take a nap, Alexis.