An emphatic first win of the New Year does not definitively prove there is a bright future for Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez but manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his players had been destabilised by the uncertainty over the Chilean’s transfer to Manchester United.
If there were any suggestions that Manchester City’s solo waltz to the Premier League title would take all the drama out of 2018, then Arsenal and Chelsea provided the perfect riposte with a wonderful match full of skill, resolve, and scintillating football — from two teams who know they cannot win the big prize.
“We’ll be punished if we play like this on Saturday.” It’s not often the crowd at the Emirates grumbles in agreement, but that was the general sentiment in N5 just before 9pm last Wednesday.
Alexis Sanchez was Arsenal’s hero yet again as he kept his team’s hopes of a top-four place alive with a nervy victory over already-relegated Sunderland which provided a snapshot of the in-between land in which Arsene Wenger’s side reside in right now.
After describing how proud he was of his Tottenham Hotspur side’s performance in a one-sided north London derby, Mauricio Pochettino was asked whether Chelsea’s victory at Everton earlier in the day meant there was an underlying feeling of disappointment in home dressing room at White Hart Lane.