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Arsene Wenger denies falling out with Alexis Sanchez

07 March 2017

Although Wenger has looked out of depth many times in the last decade, it was never laid bare more than it was on Saturday.

"He had only one session yesterday". I think we are at the best club in the world, and we have to show pride and commitment to defend the pride of this club.

The Chilean's relationship with Wenger, the Arsenal coaches and his team-mates has become strained - culminating in a bust-up after Sanchez stormed off the training pitch in the build-up to the trip to Anfield.

Sanchez, the league joint-top scorer with 17, was left on the bench until halftime - by which time a rampant Liverpool side was 2-0 ahead at Anfield thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Asked about the reports at a press conference prior to Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Bayern Munich, Wenger said they were "completely false". "Nothing at all", he told reporters.

I understand you have to fill newspapers and I respect that.

"The analysis of the Leicester game was nothing for me to enjoy but only if you are really silly do you let the bad things influence you", he said.

The biggest talking point of the match was Arsene Wenger's decision to omit Alexis Sanchez from the starting eleven due to tactical reasons. "Sometimes with excessive behaviours, but he's been in every squad". Wenger also went on to wax philosophical about what makes a player happy, saying that "the definition of a happy person is very hard".

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Wenger predictably threw on Sanchez as a half-time substitute and the forward soon provided two risky left-wing crosses - one which Mignolet turned away and another which found Giroud whose header was turned over by the Liverpool keeper. He opted to start Olivier Giroud up front, but failed to change the style of play to accommodate the Frenchman, who is fairly strong in the air. "I hope he is happy tomorrow".

"You need exceptional results and Chelsea to fail so I think it is more important to focus on our next game rather than dreaming of coming back to Chelsea". It's not down to one individual.

"You will have to come to the game (to find out)".

Wenger made a decision to leave joint top scorer in the league Alexis Sanchez on the bench to start the game, but as the Gunners were behind 2-0 at halftime after goals by Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for the home side, Sanchez came on to play the second half.

He has been linked with a move away from Arsenal after this season, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs reportedly monitoring the situation.

Liverpool's 3-1 win lifted them into third place, with the Gunners dropping to fifth only one point above Manchester United.

It was a huge win for Liverpool, only its second in eight games in 2017, and continued its brilliant record against the league's top teams.

"It's a shame simply because he is Arsenal's best player".

Arsene Wenger denies falling out with Alexis Sanchez