Forward Alexis Sanchez set an unwanted record on Saturday as he became the first Arsenal player to miss his first two penalties for the club.
The 27-year old earned that distinction after assuming penalty-taking duties from teammate Santi Cazorla in the 40th minute of the Gunner’s 1-4 victory over Hull City.
Leading 1-0 at the time through his 17th minute goal, Sanchez saw Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic save his spot kick. The miss denied the Chile international, who is reportedly a target for rivals Manchester City, a hat-trick as he later bagged his second of the match in 83rd minute.
2 – Alexis Sanchez is the only Arsenal player to take more than one PL penalty and not score one. Fluffed.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 17, 2016
Even so, coach Arsene Wenger refused to criticise his star forward.
“I have to check that but I think Santi was at the head of the list,” Wenger said later.
“We have three [penalty takers]. Did he not want to, did he [Cazorla] tell Sanchez? I don’t know.
“As a manager, you ideally want all the things to happen in the way you decide, but we don’t live in an ideal world. The keeper made a good save,” the Frenchman added.
Sanchez, who has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal at the Emirates, is reportedly attracting interest from his former boss at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola. He has less than two years left on his current contract, which runs out in 2018.
According to press reports, Sanchez wants an escape clause in any contract extension, but the Gunners are said to be unwilling.