Arsenal Victory Over Middlesbrough Was No Easy Task

The Gunners' performance was far from convincing but will still bring some relief to their beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger.

However, maybe the old saying applies to Arsenal and indeed Sanchez: You only sing when you're winning. "Of course, the opponents had a bit more of the ball than we're used to".

Arsenal kept alive their slim hopes of securing a Champions League spot next season with a 2-1 Premier League victory at Middlesbrough on Monday that left the hosts in deep danger of relegation.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Wenger said: "You could see we were not playing with full confidence during some moments in the game but overall we wanted to win".

Arsenal has a weekend off from the rigors of the Premier League, when it faces Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday.

But the Frenchman was generally pleased with what he saw at the Riverside Stadium despite admitting his team were lacking belief.

Wenger had made the sort of selection decisions that he usually reserves for cup ties against teams from lower divisions.

The future of current boss Arsene Wenger may be in doubt but he suddenly showed himself to be open to new tricks as he switched to three at the back, a reshuffle which was billed as his first change in formation in 19 years.

"Mathematically it is still possible, even if it is hard, but we will give it a go", Wenger said after the victory at the Riverside.

It also takes Alexis one goal closer to equalling an Arsenal Premier League record now held by Emmanuel Adebayor.

A foul by Adam Clayton on the edge of the area was a gift for Sanchez, the Chilean star flighted his free-kick over the wall and inside the post.

Middlesbrough was immediately on the front foot and levelled inside five minutes after Sanchez lost possession.

Holding was deployed as part of a back three along with Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny.

Back in the 2007-08, the Togo frontman, who now plays for Turkish Super Lig side Istanbul Basaksehir, set the North Londoners' record for away goals scored in the top flight when he netted 14 as Wenger's team finished third.

Speaking after the 2-1 win over Boro, in which he provided a clever assist for Mesut Ozil's victor, the Welsh worldwide believes the team are capable of winning the games, but insists there's no room for error.

However, the outcome was different in their next confrontation eight minutes later.

  • Julie Sanders