Sanchez back to his best, insists Wenger


Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is back to his best after his double downed West Brom in the Premier League on Thursday.

The Gunners recovered from recent draws against West Ham and Crystal Palace with a 2-0 win at an Emirates Stadium that featured a noticeable number of empty seats.

Sanchez scored twice in the first half with a low strike from outside the box and a free-kick that broke through West Brom's wall to catch out away goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The result took Arsenal up to third place in the league, two points clear of Manchester City and four ahead of Manchester United in fifth, with Wenger hailing Sanchez's display after he made it six goals in as many league outings.

Asked if Sanchez was now back to his best, Wenger said to Sky Sports: "It looks like yes. 

"He is back sharper, more confident. Overall - especially in the first half - I think he was exceptional.

"We did the job in a serious way and technically we played very well. The only regret is we should have scored more goals but the quality of our game was good.

"It has been in other games as well where we did not always make the maximum points for the quality of our games.

"The early goal certainly helped us to focus more on the way we play rather than being anxious about the consequence of the result. I think it was important and overall it helped the team."

Gareth McAuley headed against the crossbar for West Brom in the first half, but Arsenal's 500th Premier League victory never seemed to be in doubt.

Wenger accepted there was frustration to see his team perform so convincingly after a season that has seen them fall short in the title race.

"Of course we have regrets," he said. "In recent games we had two draws when we should have won the games several times. When you drop points like that you pay for it. 

"Of course it is frustrating but there are so many teams who can say that. When you are always looking at that, you don't focus on what is important - the next game. 

"When you are manager you want your team to take every chance and be clinical. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work like that."

Wenger, though, was thrilled to take another step towards Champions League qualification.

He added: "It was important for us to win and now we try to win the next one. Sunderland on Sunday will be another tough battle. Let's prepare well and go game by game. We know we have a good chance to do it but it's far from done."