Arsene Wenger has explained why he initially ignored Alexis Sanchez’s request to be substituted during Saturday’s match.
The Chilean international appeared to have picked up an injury midway through the second half as he signaled to the bench that he wanted to be withdrawn.
However, Wenger opted not to substitute Sanchez and the decision paid off as the 28-year-old went on to score the vital third goal after Stoke City had pulled one back through Peter Crouch.
According to Wenger, the only reason why he chose not to replace Sanchez at the time was because he misjudged the severity of the forward’s injury.
“I didn’t plan to take him off, he asked to come off,” the Arsenal manager said in his post-match interview
“First, I thought he had done a stomach muscle, so I thought that it would maybe go away again.
“I left him on for a little bit to see how he responded. After that, he stayed on and scored another goal.
“That’s Alexis, he’s a fighter who always finds resources. He delivered the third goal which made the difference”