Arsene Wenger admitted that he took Alexis off because of the poor challenge on him by James McClean in the first half.
West Brom employed the same sort of tactics that saw Jose Mourinho and Manchester United widely criticised against Chelsea. On this occasion, Pulis sent his men out to kick lumps out of Alexis, the difference being, Arsenal had a weak referee who let them do it and a media who don’t seem to think it’s a problem when it happens to Arsenal.
The worst of the challenges saw McClean go into the book when he went in studs-up, ankle high on Alexis. It was a red if your name contains an ‘X’. Many would argue it was a red regardless.
“We lost Petr Cech in the first half on a calf problem,” Wenger told a reporter after the game. “After we lost of course Sanchez. He stayed on but in the second half he was not himself. He just limped so I decided to take him off.
“His ankle does not look good.
“When it doesn’t go well, it’s always the same.”
Cech now has two weeks to recover, although the look on his face when he picked up the problem makes me think he will need a lot longer than that.
I’d like to think Alexis will also rest, but you know he’ll be playing the full 90 in Chile’s games against Argentina (a kick-fest for sure) and Venezuela.