Arsene Wenger expected great things from Alexis Sanchez - but he didn't expect what he saw on Saturday.
The diminutive Chile striker broke Burnley's resistance with a towering header 20 minutes from time and added a second as Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win over the Premier League's bottom club.
Wenger has seen more than most in football but even he was surprised by the manner of Alexis' opener.
"It was an English goal," said the Arsenal manager. "Did I expect that? Not really. I didn’t count on him in the air at all but I know by experience it’s more about desire. He has that and he’s a winner.
"He’s already had a lot of decisive goals and he doesn’t score when it’s 4-0, he scores when it’s 0-0"
"He finds the resources to get you a goal when it’s 0-0, that’s what is important. It’s always very interesting when you look at the number of goals people score - how many times do they score at 0-0? They’re the guys who can really make the difference.
"He’s already had a lot of decisive goals and he doesn’t score when it’s 4-0, he scores when it’s 0-0."
Even Arsenal legends like Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry needed time to settle in English football, but Alexis has hit the ground running since joining the Gunners from Barcelona in the summer.
"I don’t judge them for at least six months [if they arrive from abroad]," admitted Wenger. "Alexis struggled at the start to deal with the commitment but now he is more confident because he scores goals and he speaks the language much better.
"Let’s not forget that he has been in Europe before, having come from South America. He’s been at Udinese and Barcelona where you play under pressure every week. That helps get him to the level you need to cope with England.
"I believe we are in a job where you can always improve. He’s keen - every day he wants to go out and practice. He’s unbelievably keen to develop, work and practice - he just loves football."
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