Sanchez saves Arsenal in ‘must-win’ game

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Arsenal kept alive their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish as second-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud earned victory at Southampton.

After a dull first half, Sanchez produced a moment of magic to open the scoring when the Chilean wrong-footed two defenders in the box before calmly slotting home.

Substitute Giroud then made the win safe by nodding in from close range minutes after coming onto the pitch.

Mid-table Southampton rarely threatened. Their best chance came in the first half when Manolo Gabbiadini forced a fine save out of Petr Cech from close range, and they stay 10th.

The win means Arsenal move above Manchester United into fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

An awful run of form from January until early April had seriously threatened to end Arsene Wenger’s record of securing a top four finish in every season he has had at Arsenal.

However, four wins in their six games prior to the trip to St Mary’s had given hope that the season would not peter out.

In what was a must-win game, Arsenal’s players initially failed to rise to the challenge.

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