Sanchez lifts Arsenal, Everton crash again
Alexis Sanchez’s late penalty gave Arsenal a controversial 1-0 win over Burnley, while managerless Everton endured more misery in a 4-1 thrashing at Southampton on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s side looked set for a frustrating draw as they entered stoppage-time at Turf Moor, but they snatched the points when James Tarkowski was ruled to have pushed Aaron Ramsey.
Sanchez held his nerve to slot home the dramatic late penalty and moments later Arsenal were celebrating a win that lifted them into fourth place in the Premier League.
“From outside it (the penalty) looked 100 percent. I don’t know why he pushed him in the back. I would like to see it again,” Wenger said.
“In the first half we didn’t find our game. Burnley defend extremely well and are very dangerous on the direct game.”
The Gunners are still nine points behind leaders Manchester City, who face Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium later on Sunday.
A win for City would reopen an eight-point lead over second placed Manchester United, who beat Brighton 1-0 on Saturday.
Arsenal were delayed on their journey to Turf Moor, from their overnight Lancashire hotel, only arriving at the ground 50 minutes before kick-off.
They looked out of sync in the early stages and might have fallen behind when Jeff Hendrick teed up Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who beat Nacho Monreal before delivering a fierce shot which Petr Cech did well to touch onto his post.
Without Mesut Ozil, who was ruled out due to illness, Arsenal were struggling to break down Burnley.
Alexandre Lacazette was twice denied by Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope in the second half.
But Chile forward Sanchez stepped up to seal Arsenal’s second successive league win with his fourth club goal of the season.
At St Mary’s, Everton’s miserable season hit another low point as caretaker boss David Unsworth oversaw a fifth defeat in his seven matches in charge following Ronald Koeman’s sacking.
Everton, linked with a move for Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, are now just two points above the relegation zone.
Just days after a 5-1 humiliation against Atalanta in the Europa League, Unsworth’s side were put to the sword by Charlie Austin, who hadn’t scored a league goal in open play for almost a year.
Having hit just nine goals in their previous 12 league games, Southampton took advantage of woeful Everton defending to win for the first time in four league matches.
Dusan Tadic put Saints ahead in the 18th minute when he beat Phil Jagielka to Ryan Bertrand’s pass and held off the England international before guiding the ball past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised for Everton on the stroke of half-time, the Iceland midfielder cleverly working space for a superb 25-yard strike that went in off the crossbar.
But Southampton needed just seven second-half minutes to regain their advantage as Austin headed home from Bertrand’s cross.
Austin repeated the feat six minutes later, arriving free in the Everton area to nod Tadic’s cross home.
Steven Davis got Southampton’s fourth in the 87th minute with an angled finish to cap a wretched day for the visitors.
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