17 May 2017
Chilean forward, Alexis Sanchez grabbed a brace as Arsenal beat relegated Sunderland 2 – 0 to take the top four finish battle to the final day of the season.
Sunderland, with little or nothing to play for showed an early resistance and made an early attempt in just two minutes into the encounter. Lamina Cole’s pass into Arsenal’s area found Jermaine Defoe but the England International was found offside.
Arsenal almost took the lead in the 8th minute but Alexis Sanchez’s attempt was disallowed for a hand ball by Olivier Giroud.
Sunderland Goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford was brilliant as the Black Cats showed a first half resistance even as Arsenal went close a couple of times through Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez.
Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi came on for Kieran Gibbs in the 68th minute to mark a first league appearance in almost two months. Iwobi’s last appearance in the premier league was in Arsenal’s 2 – 2 draw against Manchester City on April 2.
The deadlock was broken in the 72nd minute when Alexis Sanchez finished off a Mesut Ozil’s long pass to give Arsenal the lead. The lead was doubled in the 81st minute when Sanchez fired in a rebound effort from Olivier Giroud.
Sanchez’s two goals on the night took his tally to six goals against Sunderland since he arrived at the Emirates in 2014.
The Chilean forward now has 23 league goals with 10 assists in the current campaign. Sanchez may win the Golden Boot if he can surpass Everton’s Romelu Lukaku who is on 24 goals, 6 assists with one game last.
The win was Wenger’s 20th victory in all competitions against Moyes, more than any other manager he has faced with Arsenal.
With 72 points, the Gunners are one point off fourth-placed Liverpool, who are two goals better off. Arsenal must beat Everton in the final fixture and hope that Liverpool slip up against relegated Middlesbrough at Anfield to secure a fourth place and claim a Champions League Spot.
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.