'Exceptional' Alexis Sanchez carrying Arsenal F.C. hopes

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Nov 2 2014, 15:22pm hrs
Arsenal F.C. manager Arsene Wenger hailed an "exceptional" Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean continued to provide the thrust to their inconsistent start to the season with another sublime performance in Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win against Burnley.

Sanchez, who has scored 10 goals in 16 games in all competitions since arriving from Barcelona in the close season, netted twice as the hosts beat bottom side Burnley to climb into the top four.

As his fellow forwards suffer from injuries or patchy form, the electric and diminutive 25-year-old is almost single-handedly shouldering Arsenal's attacking burden.

In the build up to the game, Wenger described him as a street fighter and that was epitomised in his first goal.

Despite his stature, Sanchez rose highest to crash in a brave header against two imposing defenders and his second in stoppage time capped a near flawless display.

"It was a top performance from Alexis Sanchez," Wenger told the BBC.

"His quality is exceptional, he takes responsibility and goes at people. He fights, he can score, that is what you want from great players."

Burnley manager Sean Dyche singled out the in-form Chilean as a player his goal-shy forwards should learn from.

"He's fantastic. I was saying to Danny Ings afterwards that part of his development is looking at that and understanding it," Dyche told Sky Sports.

"That's a player who's effervescent, he's non-stop, he has quality and he's brave. His header is brave.

"We talk to our strikers all the time about being on the move and arriving in the box and that's a great advert for what it is."

Until Sanchez's first goal in the 70th minute, Arsenal had struggled to break down the visitors' stubborn rearguard but Wenger said it was imperative his side, who have now won successive league games for the first time this season, remained calm.

"It was a question of patience and quality and I think we did all of that," he added.

"It was important not to concede a goal and in the end it was a comfortable win but everyone works hard in the Premier League."

Wenger was able to welcome back Theo Walcott for the first time in 11 months following a serious knee injury and the Frenchman is confident the pacy England forward will be back to his dangerous best.

"That appearance from Theo Walcott gives him the confidence to play again. I think he will soon be back to his best level."