Arsenal’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez reacts during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON /
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Thursday downplayed Chilean star Alexis Sanchez’ moody behaviour during and after the 3-3 Premier League draw with Bournemouth saying it was natural at his being frustrated.
The 28-year-old forward — who is holding off from signing a new contract — had a heated discussion with midfielder Aaron Ramsey during Tuesday’s game and then flung his gloves to the ground and stormed off down the tunnel after the Gunners had come back from 3-0 down.
Several newspapers reported on Thursday that Sanchez — who scored Arsenal’s opening goal — had then refused to speak to his team-mates and sat sulking in the dressingroom.
“Well, what is surprising there?,” said Wenger, responding to a question about Sanchez’ negative body language.
“You want to win the games and when you don’t win, you are unhappy — it is normal.
“Without passion, you do not come back after 70 minutes from three goals down in the Premier League.
“First of all it is exceptional, it doesn’t often happen in the Premier League and you need a special response, which is what happened.
“We wanted to win the game, and we didn’t win the game so we are all frustrated. Of course (he is fine),” added the Frenchman, whose side are fifth in the table eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Sanchez at least has a weekend off as Wenger said he would rest him and German midfielder Mesut Ozil, who is also holding off on signing a new contract, for the third round FA Cup tie with second tier Preston North End.