Arsene Wenger has lavished praise on Alexis Sanchez after his match-winning strike against Manchester City and insists he is staying at Arsenal.
The Chile international sent the Gunners into the FA Cup final with an extra-time winner at Wembley as Pep Guardiola’s side were beaten 2-1.
Sanchez has now scored four goals at Wembley, the most by any Arsenal player, and Wenger could not hide his delight at full time.
“Alexis Sanchez was like the team. He had problems to start and became stronger and stronger,” he said via BBC Sport.
“He is an animal, always ready to kill the opponent. He will never give up. He will be here next year because he has a contract and hopefully we will manage to extend him.”
Wenger again opted for a back three against City and his game plan worked well, with Gabriel and Rob Holding both impressing alongside Laurent Koscielny.
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Arsenal now have real confidence and momentum ahead of a crucial run-in and Wenger was thrilled with his team’s display.
“When at Arsenal football club we want the team to turn up in big games and I think we done that today,” he added.
“Overall I am very pleased. People questioned us, we went through tough times. In these times you can be divided or united and today we have shown the right response.
“I am very pleased, it was a big game today. Overall it was a great performance not only technically but mentally. We became stronger and in the end deserved to win the game.
“The team performance was there. When the players give their best and are completely focused you always stand up for them.
“We were close to scoring and on the break they are very good. We lost the ball and conceded the goal but we showed the right response.”
Sunday’s win is simply huge and will give the club a massive boost going in to the final weeks of the Premier League season with an FA Cup final to look forward to.