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Wenger: Alexis wasn't forced to play

He coerces himself just fine without outside help

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has responded to criticism of his decision to start Alexis Sanchez against Manchester United by saying there was no risk of aggravating the forward’s hamstring injury and emphasized that he has never played anyone against their will.

"He had a bit of tightness in his hamstring, but he was checked before the game," Wenger said. "I follow the instructions of the medical staff and the player. If they declare him capable of playing, and the player does as well... I have never forced anyone to play in my life.”

The boss was critical of Chile’s decision to play Alexis against Uruguay last week after he sat out their previous game against Colombia, calling the move “suicidal.” With the 27-year-old back in the fold at Arsenal, Wenger seems to have found a little more common ground with the South American coaching staff.

"I had the luxury to give (Mesut) Ozil a break because Germany didn't pick him. Sanchez was not overloaded with games before United, either, as he didn't play in Colombia."

Whether the manager will resist calls to rest Alexis for Wednesday’s crucial home game against PSG in the Champions League has yet to be seen, but Arsenal will definitely be without the services of Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla. A win or draw against last season’s Ligue 1 champions would make the Gunners favorites to finish top of their group for the first time since 2012.