Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sanchez ends his goal drought to sink Rangers

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their second goal
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their second goal

An eighth goal in 10 league games for Olivier Giroud was sufficient last night to puncture 65 minutes of dogged Queens Park Rangers resistance and was the pivotal moment in extending Arsenal's wider recent run to a 17th win in their past 22 games.

The Gunners produced an impressive second-half display to beat QPR and consolidate their top-four place.

Giroud opened the scoring, poking home when on the ground after Kieran Gibbs's shot was blocked. Alexis Sanchez beat Robert Green at his near post to double Arsenal's lead.

QPR faded after a strong first-half performance, although they were given late hope by Charlie Austin's powerful strike with eight minutes left. Arsenal remain on course for automatic Champions League qualification, sitting one point clear of fourth-placed Manchester United.

At the other end of the table, QPR stay three points adrift of safety with games against Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City to come in their remaining 11 matches.

Despite their lowly position, they clearly relished the opportunity to test themselves against Arsene Wenger's side, and would have been worthy of a half-time lead if Austin had converted one of several attempts on goal.

The Gunners were much the better team after half-time and soon after Giroud put Arsenal ahead, they created further chances in quick succession and, after denying Sanchez once Green was beaten by the Chile striker at his near post from an acute angle. Austin's late strike gave QPR hope, but the home side failed to build further momentum.

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