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Sanchez proves difference in win over Saints

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Sanchez

Sanchez

Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez fired Arsenal to a late 1-0 victory over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium to narrow the gap on the Premier League top four to two points.

Sanchez drilled home Aaron Ramsey's pass in the 88th minute following a frantic passage of play with the Gunners taking full advantage of Saints having been reduced to 10 men.

When Toby Alderweireld went off injured in the last 10 minutes, Southampton had already made all three permitted substitutions and as they became stretched Arsenal pounced.

Few chances fell at either end in an uninspiring first half that did little to alleviate the chill in north London with Saints striker Graziano Pelle guilty of one glaring miss from close range.

Arsenal had the first chance as a perfectly-weighted pass from Cazorla sent Danny Welbeck goalbound but the England marksman could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.

Southampton were then left wondering how they had failed to take the lead when Pelle blasted a close-range shot over the crossbar after combining with Steven Davis on the edge of the area.

Arsenal were playing with fire as Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Flamini combined to set up a panicky back-pass that left Emiliano Martinez with little margin for error as he cleared.

It was then the turn of Saints to panic as Cazorla opened up their defence only for Oxlade-Chamberlain to direct his shot straight at Forster.

A mix-up at the near post created the narrowest of openings for Welbeck but his backheel struck the side-netting once more.

Only Forster's fingertip save of a deflected header by Welbeck kept the ball out of the net as play swept to the other end.

Arsenal now had discovered some energy and they fashioned another chance with Sanchez picking out Welbeck only for the alert Forster to intervene once more.

The draw looked to be within Saints' grasp, only for Alderweireld's exit to leave them exposed with Sanchez landing the killer blow.


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