Arsene Wenger's three reasons for starting Sanchez over Giroud vs Man Utd

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Olivier Giroud was the hero on Saturday afternoon as Arsenal rescued a fortunate draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Frenchman was brought on with 17 minutes remaining and headed home from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross in the 89th, to the despair of the hosts.

As Arsenal's fans - and players - went wild, Giroud's muted celebration spoke volumes about his recent frustrations at the club.

Having been replaced as Arsene Wenger's No.1 striker by Alexis Sanchez, Giroud has yet to start in the Premier League this season, making six appearances from the bench.

But against United, Giroud proved once again why he's such a dangerous weapon for Arsenal and deserves far more game time.

"He's angry in a positive way," Wenger said of his countryman. "I think we have the quality and the spirit on the bench. The two together makes us remarkably dangerous until the last minute."

Wenger's decision to start Sanchez was a baffling one considering the Chilean is still nursing a hamstring injury suffered during the international break.

Arsenal's manager has now explained why he opted for Sanchez, giving three reasons.

"It's very unusual [to play someone after that]," he told the club's official website. "I chose him because Alexis is a guy who can take people on and I knew that would be a quality that would work.

"He is good on the counter-attack, good in short spaces as well. He's always a player who is not scared of anybody.

"He played very well in the first half but we didn't give him enough service in the second half because we dropped off too much and we played too many balls in our own half.

"We didn't give him enough support by coming out more. For a guy who played a decisive game on Wednesday morning, and then travelling after, it's remarkable."

Well, that worked out well.

Wenger would be wise to reward Giroud for his perseverance with a start against Bournemouth next weekend - or even against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Four goals in his last four games for Arsenal, three of which from the bench, is a fine return and only emphasises how he shouldn't just be used as an impact substitute.

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Thierry Henry
Olivier Giroud
Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Mesut Özil
Arsene Wenger
UEFA Champions League

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