Arsene Wenger surprised everyone by bringing on star man Alexis Sanchez during their FA Cup clash against Sutton United.
The Gunners were already 2-0 up and it looked as though the Chilean was going to get a well-deserved rest on the bench.
However, with just 15 minutes remaining, Wenger decided to give the forward a run out on the 3G pitch. If he had got injured, the manager would have had a lot of questions to answer.
But Sanchez managed to survive the remainder of the match unscathed as the north London club secured their passage through to the quarter-finals of the competition.
And Wenger has dismissed any claims that it was a risk bringing on Sanchez on the artificial pitch.
Wenger on the Sanchez substitute
"He is a guy who has a strong body," said Wenger, when quizzed on his decision to give Sanchez a run out against the non-league outfit.
"I think on this pitch it is the guy who does not have good co-ordination, who is heavy on his feet, who is in trouble.
"Alexis is more a guy who has very good co-ordination, he is light on his feet. I don’t think it was a risk."
We say that Sanchez came through the match unscathed but there were fears after the final whistle.
As you’d expect, the Sutton fans invaded the pitch as they attempted to meet the Arsenal superstars and congratulate their own players for their heroic players.
While some Arsenal players remained on the pitch to swap shirts with their opponents, there was only one thing in Sanchez’s mind.
The former Barcelona star was on the other side of the pitch when the whistle blew but immediately sprinted down the tunnel as soon as he saw fans invade the pitch.
It makes for a rather funny video, captured one Twitter user.
Take a look:
In fairness to Wenger, Arsenal are now without a match until March 4 - where they face a trip to Anfield to play top-four rivals, Liverpool - so giving Sanchez a little cameo appearance wasn't the worst idea in the world.
It means that Sanchez and co. now have a nice little rest as they attempt to get their campaign back on track.
After losses to Watford and Chelsea, Arsenal are 10 points behind the league leaders and are effectively out of the title race. After their 5-1 humiliation against Bayern Munich, they’re also facing elimination from the Champions League.
So, once again, the FA Cup - where they host Lincoln in the quarter-finals - represents their only chance of winning a trophy this season.News Now - Sport News