Alexis Sanchez has handed Arsenal a massive injury boost after coming through Chile's World Cup qualifier against Uruguay unscathed.
The Gunners forward missed their first game against Colombia with a minor hamstring injury, and Arsene Wenger had deemed it suicidal to play on Tuesday (15 November) fearing the injury could be aggravated and sideline the Chilean for a few months.
The South American side's manager, however, deemed him fit enough to start in a crucial clash and Sanchez did not disappoint as he scored two second-half goals to hand them a 3-1 win, before being substituted to a standing ovation with six minutes left on the clock.
Chile moved up to fourth place level on points with third placed Ecuador with three more games to go. The top four achieve direct qualification for the World Cup in Russia, while the fifth will go into the play-offs.
Arsenal were fearing the worst after the Chile football federation confirmed an injury to their star forward, especially with the Gunners facing a crucial trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Saturday (19 November). The north London club are already without Hector Bellerin, who is ruled out until December with an ankle injury, and were hoping not to lose another key player.
However, the striker showed no signs of injury in his 83-minute display despite playing with a heavily strapped right thigh. Wenger will be hoping to have his first choice centre-forward back in good condition as they prepare for the clash against Jose Mourinho's team.
Sanchez, meanwhile, has spoken about his switch to the centre-forward role this season for Arsenal, and admitted that he enjoys playing in his new position. The Chile international is primarily a winger, but the Gunners boss has deployed him in a more central role this season.
"I like it as a centre-forward because I can get involved in the play more. I have the chance to drop deep a little bit more and that means I can link up with my team-mates more," Sanchez told Arsenal's official site ahead of the international break.
"[The manager] is the one who decides, he's the one who changes things around and decides where we play. He asked me to play there so I said fine – I looked up some videos on the internet to see how I needed to adjust my movement and I've been adapting since then," the Chilean forward added.