Alexis Sanchez back in body but not in spirit… as Arsenal man enjoys laugh on the bench during Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich

As Bayern Munich were given a penalty and Arsenal disputed Laurent Koscielny’s red card, one player turned his back and meandered towards the halfway line.

Alexis Sanchez was back in body but not quite in spirit. Sanchez strolled over for a chat with Bayern’s right back Rafinha as Koscielny made his exit and Robert Lewandowski scored his team’s sixth goal of the tie.

Disappointment? Maybe. But it seemed to epitomise Sanchez, resigned to his fate in a team he feels is inferior to his own quality.

When Arsenal and his manager needed something super-human, he did just enough. Closing down but without the usual intensity. Little bursts of interest while more often lost in his own world of self-pity. He was not downright awful.

There were flashes of his quality: a sumptuous pass or an explosion of pace when instinct took over.

But Sanchez was half-hearted and that might be worse on a night when Wenger desperately needed to salvage some pride.

By the time Bayern moved into double figures, Sanchez was laughing on the bench with Petr Cech. Not a crime, but not a good look. This is not how team spirit is generated. The rot has set in.

It is impossible to imagine Antonio Conte standing for such behaviour at Chelsea. As Wenger restored Sanchez to the team, Robert Pires was on television in France with his version of the training tiff which preceded the Chilean’s omission at Liverpool.

‘I was there,’ said Pires. ‘There was a bad tackle on Alexis Sanchez, a clash, he left the pitch.’ There was a disciplinary sanction. Nothing serious happened.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *