Arsenal 2, Sunderland 0: Arsene Wenger insists Gunners still have good chance of Champions League qualification

 
Frank Dalleres
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Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League
Sanchez took his tally for the season to 28 with two late goals (Source: Getty)

Arsenal 2, Sunderland 0

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his team's chances of gatecrashing the Champions League places remain "good" after Alexis Sanchez kept their seemingly slim hopes alive by downing Sunderland.

Sanchez scored two poachers' efforts in the last 20 minutes to break the resistance of outstanding goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and hand the Gunners a lifeline in their chase for a 21st consecutive top-four Premier League finish.

Read more: Klopp warns Liverpool after they tighten grip on top four

Arsenal must beat Everton in Sunday's final round of fixtures and hope that Liverpool drop points at home to relegated Middlesbrough -- an unlikely scenario, but Wenger was bullish about his team's prospects.

"I just think let's make sure we win the game. Even if you only had one per cent you would have to play totally 100 per cent. But I think we have a good chance," said Wenger.

Defending his team's season, he added: "It would be the first time you make 75 points and you're not in the top four. If you look at the number of points we can make it's one of the best in the last 10 years."

Thousands of fans stayed away, whether out of apathy or in response to calls from some fans to boycott the fixture as a show of dissatisfaction, with Emirates Stadium looking no more than three quarters full.

After a promising start in which Sanchez had a goal chalked off and Pickford saved at close range from Olivier Giroud, the hosts lapsed into a performance as tepid as the atmosphere.

They roused themselves at the end of the first half when Hector Bellerin got in behind but hit the side-netting and then Rob Holding tamely headed a sitter at Pickford.

Sunderland had threatened twice on the break, through Didier N'Dong and Jermain Defoe, and had a chance to lead straight after half-time from an indirect free-kick six yards out, but Sebastian Larsson scooped into the six-yard box and Arsenal cleared.

From then on it was an onslaught, with Shkodran Mustafi's shot cleared from the goalmouth and Pickford saving from Danny Welbeck before the visiting stopper was finally beaten, Mesut Ozil squaring for Sanchez to tap in.

Pickford saved from Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi before the Chilean made the game safe, nodding in his 28th of the season after the goalkeeper had denied Giroud.

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