Sanchez-less Arsenal drops points

AP
Arsene Wenger left "vague" Alexis Sanchez at home and then watched as the Gunners blew away a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at Bournemouth. 
AP
Reuters

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin scores a goal during the English Premier League match against Bournemouth yesterday. Arsenal squandered the lead by conceding two goals in five minutes to lose 1-2. 

With star forward Alexis Sanchez left at home, Arsenal squandered a lead by conceding two goals in five minutes to lose 1-2 at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.

Callum Wilson equalized in the 70th minute for Bournemouth before setting up Jordon Ibe for the winner in the 74th minute, intensifying Arsenal’s problems in what could be developing into another crisis under Arsene Wenger.

Hector Bellerin opened the scoring in the 52nd for Arsenal, which is in sixth place and has dropped five points off the Champions League qualification positions.

Wenger said Sanchez was omitted because the Chile international was “being vague” while Manchester City and Manchester United fight for his services. “We have left him at home because of the situation,” Wenger said. “I still don’t know what is going to happen.” 

It seems inevitable that Sanchez will depart this month, leaving the team without its game-changer and top scorer from last season. Mesut Ozil was also missing because of injury and Arsenal’s lineup looked a shadow of the past teams under Wenger.

Arsenal with 39 points — five behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fifth. Bournemouth, meanwhile, climbs to 13th but remain just four points above the bottom three.

Meanwhile, Antonio Conte believes Chelsea’s gruelling schedule and a lack of squad depth are to blame for the champion’s recent struggles. Conte’s side lacked energy and drive as it was forced to settle for a dour 0-0 draw against 10-man Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 

For the first time in the club’s history, Chelsea has endured three successive goalless draws after an FA Cup stalemate at Norwich and a League Cup blank against Arsenal.

Even the 68th minute dismissal of Leicester defender Ben Chilwell for two bookings in quick succession couldn’t lift lethargic Chelsea, which was outplayed in the first half and couldn’t make its numerical advantage count at the end of the second period.

“We played with tiredness. We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half,” Conte said. “We played a lot of effort against Arsenal on Wednesday, then to play a really good team in good physical form like Leicester was difficult. We played with almost the same players as against Arsenal. I saw a lot of players very tired. I saw Eden (Hazard) was very tired so he came off. When I decided to put fresh energy on with Willian and Pedro, the game changed. We created chances to score but at the end the result was fair.”


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