LONDON, (Reuters) - Arsenal kept alive their top-four hopes with a 2-0 victory over Sunderland as Alexis Sanchez broke the visitors’ dogged resistance with a late double at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Relegated Sunderland had defended deep and restricted Arsenal to half chances on a frustrating evening for Arsene Wenger’s side until Sanchez rode to the rescue, sidefooting home Mesut Ozil’s cross after 72 minutes.
Sanchez, who had a first-half effort ruled out after his shot went in off the arm of Olivier Giroud, then doubled the lead with a close-range header with nine minutes remaining.
The victory leaves Arsenal fifth on 72 points, one behind Liverpool and three behind third-placed Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s final round of fixtures to decide who will join Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in next season’s Champions League.
Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman