London: Arsene Wenger insisted he had no regrets over risking Alexis Sanchez in the 1-1 draw at Norwich despite the influential Chilean forward being forced off the pitch with a thigh injury.
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez limps off the pitch holding his thigh during the match with Norwich. Pic/AFP
Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny were all added to a lengthy list of long-term casualties on Sunday after a match that left Arsenal in fourth place in the Premier League table.
Wenger was already without almost an entire team of stars as Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are currently sidelined.
Koscielny was forced off early on with a hip problem, Sanchez was next to depart with a thigh injury and Cazorla was able to complete the game despite a knee injury. Wenger robustly defended the decision to play Sanchez.
"Do I regret playing Sanchez? No — the players are there to play football not to be rested when the press decide they need to be rested," he said.
"Nobody is scientifically developed enough to predict exactly when someone will be injured. I must say with all humility we are not in a position where we can predict. Despite all our tests he looked alright."
> Alexis Sanchez (hamstring)
> Santi Cazorla (knee)
> Francis Coquelin (knee)
> Laurent Koscielny (hip)
> Kieran Gibbs (calf)
> Theo Walcott (calf)
> Jack Wilshere (leg fracture)
> Danny Welbeck (knee)
> Mikel Arteta (calf)
> Tomas Rosicky (knee)