Date: 16th January 2017 at 3:11pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has played down Alexis Sanchez’s reaction being substituted in this weekend’s clash against Swansea City.

Making the trip to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, Arsenal travelled home with all three points and a clean sheet in the pretty comfortable four nil victory.

With two own goals sandwiching Olivier Giroud’s opener and Alexis’ own strike in the 73rd minute, the player was taken off five odd minutes later by Wenger as part of a double switch seeing Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck get eleven minutes a piece.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference Wenger said that all substituted players are frustrated at being taken off the pitch so he wasn’t concerned with Alexis’ reaction, instead choosing to focus on his on pitch performance, goal and his efforts across the season so far that have seen him pick up 16 goals in total and 14 in the Premier League itself.

‘He was very sharp. You know I rested him for two weeks and gave him a little breather. I think he benefitted from that and I gave him another rest today so he will benefit from that as well.’

Wenger went on to say about the substitution.

‘Look, he is hugely influential, Sanchez. You look at the numbers, he had scored 13 goals, seven assists, now 14 goals. So he was involved in about 25 goals in our team. But we also had players on the bench who are strikers, who need competition. We were 4-0 up. Ozil as well comes back from sickness so it was a good opportunity not to be stupid.’

So questioned about the players reaction, Wenger said it was natural for all players to be frustrated when they are taken off the pitch but some just hide it more easily than others but it’s part of the game and it doesn’t cause problems because players accept it even if they are clearly frustrated.

‘All the players are frustrated when they come off, some show it, some not. I am long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right and that`s it. Nothing more than that. He`s a good guy who gives a lot and wants to do well, always, for the team. There is no problem. But every culture is different. Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans, Southern Europeans are different to northern Europeans. You have to respect that. That`s why we are a multi-national team.’

Wenger did admit he didn’t like that kind of reaction though but again you shouldn’t read into it.

‘No, I prefer nothing. I prefer to score goals and not to concede goals, that is all I like. But all the players like the game, I think after you are more extroverted. That`s minor. I think looking at the game tonight, that`s really minor, minor, minor.’

on whether he will speak with Alexis?
We speak always, about everything. Honestly I cannot even answer. I don`t look, I don`t look at that. I look at how well the players do who come on, how comfortable they are, because Danny Welbeck has not played for two years. That`s for me much more important than an individual response. That is vital when a player 25 years of age with regular play in the national team comes on, you have an opportunity to give him game time – that`s something that is vital when you come back from such a long injury.’

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