Despite a quiet start to proceedings against Manchester City, Alexis Sánchez let his world-class quality shine through when it mattered, earning praise from manager Arsène Wenger in the process.

Ahead of Wednesday’s home clash with Leicester City, Wenger briefly discussed the City game and said Alexis’s traits shone through – justifying why he’s the club’s top goalscorer this term.

Wenger said, “It’s strange because I feel that he always grows during the game. The difficulty of the game always makes him more focused.

His tireless workrate and an ever-present desire to succeed are admirable, especially in a team where motivation always seems to be a struggle

He was regularly seen trying to encourage team-mates on Sunday and although it can be misconstrued as arrogance or annoyance, it helps the players maintain focus and keep calm in the face of adversity.

Alexis (far right) celebrates the eventual winner against City on Sunday
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Alexis Sanchez (1st R) of Arsenal celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

After conceding a counter-attack finished off by Sergio Aguero in the second-half, Arsenal had nothing to lose. But, unlike performances elsewhere this term, their heads failed to drop and they used the setback as a springboard to recover and City were rightly stunned by it.

With a defensive mentality out of possession, Alexis clearly relished the challenge as City enjoyed long spells with the ball in the middle third..

He starts sometimes and has problems to get into the game and during the game, he becomes stronger and more determined. He has the individual quality to make the difference,” Wenger continued.

I think he adapts to the difficulty. He tests and finds the way himself during the game to become dangerous. He can always turn up with something special in the game.

Alexis’ enthusiasm and never-say-die attitude mean he is a threat whenever approaching the final third, so Wenger’s praise for his talisman is unsurprising to say the least given how consistent he has been.

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.