Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli has said he played Alexis Sanchez for the full 90 minutes of the 2-0 victory over Brazil on 9 October as the Arsenal star is crucial to his team, even when he is not 100% fit. Sanchez was a doubt for the match after he was replaced in the second half of Arsenal's 3-0 victory over Manchester United on 4 October with an injury.
Arsene Wenger revealed after the game against United that the Chile star was suffering with groin issues, but admitted he was powerless to stop him joining up with his national side for the clashes against Brazil and Peru.
Sampaoli had said earlier in the week that both Sanchez and Bayern Munich star Arturo Vidal were doubtful for the game, after they missed the first training sessions with the national team. However, after they featured briefly in the last training session prior to the game, the boss opted to included them in the starting line-up, with the Arsenal star scoring a goal.
Asked in a post-match press conference about the duo's fitness, Sampaoli said: "Beating Brazil is great because I have never beat them before. It is very important for me and for all Chile. Beating Brazil is the best. Arturo and Alexis arrived not at their top fitness. They made a great effort as always. Arturo forcing himself, playing not at the percentage he can give but being there. As always. I highlight that we have to value Arturo much more than the rest because he sometimes is risking his condition as a player to be with the national team. A few players do that.
"Alexis also arrived not at his top of form, with pain in the adductor. He couldn't play at 100% but we thought that for us him not playing was to give too much advantage to our rivals because his presence in our team makes things difficult for our opponents."
Arsenal will now be sweating over Sanchez's fitness as after the international break the Gunners have crucial fixtures coming up, including a decisive double header against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
But Sampaoli failed to address whether he will risk Sanchez once again for the coming game against Peru.
"I hope to go to Peru with the intention to win and get the six points. We need to play well," he said about the game. "We know the stadium will be against us. So we need to be an intelligent team and play a very demanding game."