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Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has played down any notion of a falling-out with star forward Alexis Sánchez.

Wenger refuted reports of training-ground arguments between Sanchez and teammates, which he called "completely false" and described his relationship with his top scorer as "honest and normal, like it is with every player". "When you don't win the games there are sometimes stories".

The game was just 10 minutes old when Mane's low cross evaded both Arsenal centre-halves to allow Firmino to take a touch and fire high into the net for his first goal in seven matches but third in four league matches against the north Londoners.

I explained after the game at Liverpool that I chose to go for a more direct option in the game.

Wenger said: "Alexis has 15 months of his contract so the decision of will he be here or not will depend completely on Arsenal Football Club and not on anybody else". He was confronted by team-mates on their return to the changing room as tempers flared.

PSG are now in a rich vein of form following the recent performances of their attack after the 4-0 Champions League round-of-16 first-leg thrashing of Barcelona and the 5-1 mauling of bitter rivals Marseille at the Stade Velodrome in Ligue 1 last months.

Alexis Sanchez did not start in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday. With all due respect to the man, you don't bench your best player in an all-important clash with a vulnerable Top 4 rival unless you've decided that the game doesn't matter.

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Taking a cue from Donald Trump, Wenger has termed those reports as 'Fake news!'

It was earlier claimed yesterday that Sánchez walked out of training and was involved in a bust-up with angry team-mates days before being dropped for Arsenal's trip to Liverpool on Saturday. That's sure to make their encounter at Anfield on Saturday all the more spectacular, and nearly certainly the pick of the weekend's Premier League action.

Second from bottom Hull, who are just three points adrift of Leicester, are a more resilient side under Portuguese handler Marco Silva and could prove a more obdurate foe than Klopp's players did.

Although Sanchez would not come cheap, despite his contractual status, signing a comparable forward with much longer left on his contract would involve a significantly greater outlay.

Despite their very public denials, it is surely no coincidence Leicester have won their first two matches since former manager Ranieri departed amid strong reports of player unrest over the Italian's tactical tinkering and confusing team selections.

His initial omission was ostensibly to play a more direct style of play to suit Olivier Giroud, a tactic Wenger admitted failed. "I have no regrets, except that we lost the game".

  • Regina Holmes