AT EMIRATES STADIUM
ARSENAL 2 HULL CITY 0
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger has played down fears over Alexis Sanchez suffering burnout after the Chile hitman inspired the FA Cup holders to a third-round victory against Hull City yesterday in a re-run of last season’s final.
Talismanic forward Sanchez confirmed Arsenal’s presence in tonight’s fourth-round draw with a late clincher after German World Cup winner Per Mertesacker opened the scoring with a first-half header.
Wenger also confirmed Lukas Podolski’s departure from north London while insisting his preferred destination for French striker Yaya Sanogo, who has been made available for loan, is England’s top flight.
“At the moment, in our fatigue tests he (Sanchez) doesn’t seem to have any problems,” said Wenger. “I feel when the players are confident it is important to keep them going especially when they have physical potential to recover quickly. I was tempted to rest him but in the end he always feels ready.”
Arsenal breached the visitors’ backline in the 20th minute when stand-in skipper Mertesacker, much-maligned for recent performances in his own penalty area, towered high to power a downward header beyond Steve Harper from Sanchez’s corner.
The Gunners sealed their passage to the next round in the 82nd minute when the pugnacious Sanchez collected a pass from Santi Cazorla inside the 18-yard box and curled a low shot past the outstretched Harper for his 16th goal of the season.