Arsène Wenger admits he favoured the long ball over Alexis Sánchez

Arsene-Wenger4

Whatever is going on behind the scenes with Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal need him on the pitch from the start against Bayern Munich tonight because we saw on Saturday how bad they are without him.

Losing the World Cup victor for the Emirates Stadium showdown is another blow for Arsenal, who faces the daunting task of having to overturn a 5-1 deficit from the first leg.

The Chilean eventually came on at half-time - with the Reds 2-0 up - and while he provided an assist for Welbeck to pull a goal back, it was not enough as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners to leapfrog the Gunners into the top four. 16 Conclusions discussed the selection choice at length. However, Wenger will not have Mesut Özil at his disposal, after the manager told Monday's press conference that the German internatonal will be forced to sit this one out due to an illness.

"I explained after the game I chose to go for a more direct option, that was the unique reason for my decision".

Reports last night claimed the 28-year-old was confronted by senior first-team players after storming out of a training session last week and that Wenger subsequently took the decision to discipline his star striker.

"My thinking with Alexis was that we had to be more direct and I wanted two players who were strong in the the air".

Sánchez, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2014, is stalling on signing a new contract at the club.

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The Arsenal manager called on his squad to perform and restore pride after the club lost four of their last six matches. I didn't, but if I would have thought after Wednesday if we could win against Arsenal, the answer would have been "no".

Arsene Wenger chose one of the toughest periods of his Arsenal tenure to make one of his most reckless team selections.

Alexis is paid to win football matches and the top priority has to be the club getting Champions League football for next season.

"I am 17 years a manager and I am really not surprised about any line-ups in my life", he said.

"That's why we have to focus on the quality of our performance and our commitment".

"The true warrior fights not because he hates the ones in front of him, but because he loves those behind him", Sanchez wrote. "A decision like that is not easy to make but you always have to stand up", he said. I believe for every single player it's the same.

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