Arsenal’s top four finishing in the English Premier League got a boost Wednesday night with a 2-0 away win at Southampton. But the hero of the night was Alexis Sanchez whose 60th minute goal set the stage for the sensational win.
He has reached 20 league goals in a season for the first time as Arsenal’s 2-0 win narrows the gap to the Premier League’s top four.
A home win over Jose Mourinho’s depleted Manchester United on Sunday meant Arsenal could cut the gap to fourth-placed Manchester City to three points with victory at St Mary’s Stadium, but they never looked likely in a second-rate first half.
Sanchez and Mesut Ozil had been guilty for letting the air out of numerous attacks for Arsene Wenger’s side, but the duo combined sublimely to puncture the Saints’ back line on the hour.
Making his 100th Premier League appearance, Sanchez celebrated his fine strike by tapping the badge on his chest in front of the travelling fans as his, and Ozil’s, futures remain shrouded in doubt as their contracts wind down.
Sanchez was again involved as Olivier Giroud emerged from the bench to make the points safe and take Arsenal fifth in the table.
Arsenal face games against Stoke City, relegated Sunderland and Everton in their bid to sneak Champions League qualification for the 20th season in succession, and interventions as divine as Sanchez’s in this game will be crucial.