Arsene Wenger hailed hat-trick hero Alexis Sanchez as “world class” after Arsenal eased to an impressive 5-2 victory over Leicester on Saturday.
The forward scored a classy hat-trick as the Gunners ended Leicester’s unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season.
Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also netted to clinch a 5-2 win and Arsenal are now just three points behind new leaders Manchester United – who they host next Sunday.
They had to come from behind at the King Power Stadium after Jamie Vardy’s opener but Wenger believes Sanchez, who scored his first Arsenal goals since last season’s FA Cup final, showed why he is world class.
He said: “I think he is. I think I have plenty of players who are world class but you always have to understand what the definition of that is.
“Overall he is a striker who is mobile and works hard for the team and when the team plays well he can score goals.
“He is back to his level. He won a big competition with Chile – the Copa America – and to adjust again to a competitive level when you come back takes some time.
“We could see in training already a different player in the last week or two.
“He showed that in this game and overall I thought we always looked dangerous going forwards.”
Beaten Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri added: “It’s fantastic, I’ve known him (Sanchez) since he played in Italy, when he plays at this level he is an amazing player and can do everything. The ball and him are both together.”
Manchester City’s 4-1 defeat at Tottenham earlier in the day allowed Arsenal to close the gap at the top and Wenger admitted the title race is wide open.
“Of course. Knowing that Tottenham had beaten Manchester City made the whole league very tight,” he said.
“Two weeks ago we had Manchester City playing West Ham at home so you would expect them to make the difference.”