Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was tempted to rest Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez "always looks dangerous"

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was tempted to rest goalscorer Alexis Sanchez for the FA Cup win over Hull - but the Chile forward wanted to play.

Sanchez, 26, played a pivotal role as the holders earned a 2-0 third-round victory against last year's beaten finalists at the Emirates.

Sanchez's corner set up Gunners captain Per Mertesacker for the opener before he fired in a late second goal.

"He always wants to play and that is what you want to see," Wenger said.

Sanchez has become a key player for the Gunners since his £35m summer move from Barcelona, scoring 16 goals in a productive debut season in England so far.

Wenger, 65, made five changes from the starting XI which lost 2-0 at Southampton on New Year's Day, but still decided to lead the line with Sanchez against Hull.

"You look at the players who have that confidence and you are torn between when a player is that confident to keep him on playing or give him a rest," the Frenchman said.

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FA Cup: Arsenal 2-0 Hull highlights

"But when the players are confident it is important to keep them going, especially when they have that physical potential.

"Sanchez recovers very quickly and he doesn't look in our tests to have any fatigue problem."

Sanchez has started 28 of Arsenal's 31 competitive matches this season, plus one appearance as a 63rd-minute substitute against Tottenham in October.

He has played virtually every minute of Arsenal's last six matches since being rested for the Champions League trip to Galatasaray on 9 December.

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"He always gives you an incisive game and forces defenders into mistakes. He always looks dangerous and is a dream for a manager," Wenger added.

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who made his first Gunners start in exactly a year after a serious knee injury, added: "Alexis is a special player so it's nice to get on the pitch with him finally."

Hull City manager Steve Bruce was equally impressed by Sanchez's performance against his injury-hit side, labelling him a "class act".

"You can see he is an outstanding player. His work-rate, attitude and desire makes him a world-class player - and he looked it today," he added.

Theo Walcott
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