Alex Iwobi produced a brilliant reaction to Alexis Sanchez's free-kick vs Middlesbrough

Alexis Sanchez scored his 23rd goal of the season as Arsenal bounced back from last week’s defeat to Crystal Palace with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The Gunners had dropped to seventh in the Premier League table before kick-off, so they could ill-afford to return from the Riverside Stadium with anything less than three points.

Arsene Wenger’s side faced some scares. After Alvaro Negredo’s second-half equaliser, Boro came close to taking the lead when Daniel Ayala’s effort was cleared off the line.

But Arsenal’s class prevailed eventually. In one swift move they regained the lead, Mesut Ozil lashing home following Aaron Ramsey’s knockdown.

It wasn’t pretty, but Arsenal got the win they needed to keep alive their top four hopes. They sit sixth in the table, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand over Pep Guardiola’s outfit.

Wenger believes his side must win each of their remaining seven matches to stand any chances of finishing in the coveted top four places.

“For us, the clarity is there, we have to win every game to have a chance of getting in the top four, starting tonight,” the Frenchman said, per the Mirror.

“The team was a bit more serene. We were a bit over cautious in situations tonight. Hopefully that will give us more confidence. Mathematically it is still possible, even if it is difficult, but we will give it a go.”

Big games coming up

It won’t be easy. Arsenal travel to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of April and host Manchester United and Everton next month.

But if Sanchez can continue to produce such brilliant moments as his first-half free-kick, they stand a chance.

The Chilean lifted the ball perfectly over the wall and beyond Brad Guzan from roughly 20 yards out. Middlesbrough’s goalkeeper should have done better – Sanchez’s effort didn’t land in the corner – but the Arsenal star still did really well to get it up and down so quickly.

Iwobi’s reaction

You only need to see Alex Iwobi’s reaction on the bench to realise how impressive the strike was. 

The Nigeria international put his hand to his mouth in disbelief. Check out the video below.

Everyone is aware of Sanchez’s ability. It’s why it’s so important for Arsenal to keep him at the club.

Will Alexis Sanchez still be an Arsenal player next season? Let us know in the comments section below!

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