Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger aired his concern for a number of his players during Tuesday night’s Champions League victory over Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb, according to the Daily Express.
The Gunners kept their chances of qualification alive with a 3-0 win over Dinamo, which was aided by Bayern Munich’s 4-0 stomping of Olympiacos, which now sets up a tie between them and the Greek giants to compete for second place and passage into the next round.
Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez bagged himself a brace during the win, but Wenger has since admitted that he would have liked to have rested him.
However, he was forced to play the full 90 minutes, as striker Olivier Giroud limped off following substitutions for Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla with just under ten minutes on the clock remaining.
“We have Giroud and Alexis so at the moment all these strikers are needed,” Wenger said.
“Giroud had a little problem with his ankle over the weekend but I decided to give [him] a breather.
“Hector Bellerin, I took him off because he had a groin problem just before so I had to take them off meaning I could not take Alexis off. We now have five days to recover.
“I would have loved to do it tonight (rest Alexis) but I [had] two different options. Once it is 3-0 you are not in a position where you need him to work back and when you put him central up front you can spare a bit of energy.
“It is not like you have to go up and down. I tried to compromise a little bit and give a break to Giroud and not take a risk with Bellerin.”
Arsenal need to beat Olympiacos by two or more goals if they want to continue on in the Champions League, or else risk dropping down into the energy sapping Europa League instead.
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