Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has continued to express fears over the fitness of Alexis Sanchez after the Chile international played 82 minutes of the Champions League win over Bayern Munich at The Emirates Stadium. Sanchez made his 16th appearance of the campaign for club and country as the Gunners gave their hopes of progressing in Europe elite club competition a shot in the arm with victory over Pep Guardiola's side.
Sanchez led the line throughout for the North Londoners, a tireless showing which came after an international break that saw him feature in both of Chile's World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Peru. The 26-year-old had initially joined up with his country after suffering a hip problem in the win over Manchester United and Wenger has expressed concerns over his physical well-being.
The fitness problems facing Arsenal were accentuated during the stunning win over Bayern - gifted to them by goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil - by the loss of Aaron Ramsey to a recurrence of a long-running hamstring problem. The Wales international was replaced after 57 minutes by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a familiar injury and Wenger is worried about both players.
"[Ramsey] is alright but very down because he told me his hamstring is quite a tough one," Wenger explained during his post-match press confernece. "He is out. Alexis you could see he was quite jaded physically tonight. He still pushes himself so much and he finished exhausted. The two games with Chile, the traveling plus Watford, plus Bayern it is too much."
During a tight game it was the performance of both goalkeepers which turned the ball the way of Arsenal. While Petr Cech made a string of saves including keeping Robert Lewandowski at bay twice in the second half, opposite number Manuel Neuer endured an altogether contrasting evening. The Germany World Cup winner flapped at a Santi Cazorla free-kick which was eventually turned home by Giroud before fellow-countryman Ozil volleyed home late on despite the desperate attempts of the stopper.
On the performance of Cech, who had been omitted from the Arsenal team in the Champions League before David Ospina's mistake against Olympiakos, Wenger added: "He was very important, I think he kept us in the game. You could say the same for Neuer. We had two top, top, top goalkeepers on the pitch today and that was true on both sides. I expected this question in the press conference [on regretting not playing Cech earlier] and I have already spoken about it."