Alexis Sanchez Arsenal Nacho Monreal Olivier Giroud
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Southampton in their English Premier League gameReuters

Arsenal have not been even remotely at their fluent best going forward this season; only on a handful of occasions have they even looked like the Arsenal we have come to expect. And the Gunners are in a decent position, even if far from desirable, in the English Premier League table thanks to one man – Alexis Sanchez – whose goals have driven his team to victory after victory, and on occasion a few draws as well.

It was Sanchez who gave Arsenal the victory again on Wednesday, scoring the only goal of the game in the 89th minute to see off "thou shall not pass" Southampton.

Too many times already Sanchez has come to Arsenal's rescue, and even Arsene Wenger admits it is high time that other players stepped up and scored the goals consistently.

"It is dangerous to rely on one player to score the goals," said Wenger after the 1-0 win at the Emirates. "At the moment he is miles ahead of everyone else with goals.

"Let's hope the other players will join him."

No player has probably settled into Arsenal as quickly as Sanchez – he has 9 goals and two assists in 13 English Premier League games for the club, and has scored 14 in his last 18 matches in all competitions – and even Wenger had to admit the ease with which the Chilean has adapted to life in England, since his move from Barcelona in the summer, is commendable.

"It's difficult to find examples of people who have settled so quickly," added Wenger. "My memory is not perfect but quicker, you cannot. We are in December and he arrived in July -- when you look at the number of goals and the impact he has on the team, it's fabulous.

"He was one of the players who had to dig in today but he still has such a desire to fight, which is why he always finds something special to get the goal."

While Sanchez rightly took most of the plaudits, the player who made the biggest difference for Arsenal was Olivier Giroud. The moment the striker came on as a substitute after the hour mark, Arsenal looked a different side; suddenly those spaces opened up, the combination play was better, and had it not been for a few wonderful saves from Fraser Forster, it would have been Giroud's name on the scoresheet, before Sanchez did what he does best.

"His physical presence made a difference," said Wenger when asked if Giroud, who made his first appearance for Arsenal against Manchester United ten days ago since August, was the difference between victory and one point.

"He worked very hard and we have a very good preparation system. Every time the players come back we get them to a point where they are basically ready but, having said that, he played 70 minutes on Saturday and 25 today. He was a bit jaded."

Arsenal will certainly take this jaded Giroud to any of their other strikers as their central focus, because whenever Giroud plays through the middle, it is almost as if the playmakers suddenly know what needs to be done, and what locks need to be picked to find a way through to goal.

Even if the victory was vital, what was equally impressive was the clean sheet from Arsenal – their third straight, and Wenger singled out one player for special praise.

"We played against a good team who are very well organised and play very quick on the counter-attack," Wenger said. "For us it was important not to be exposed on the counter-attack and to keep a clean sheet.

"We had to be patient and wait for our chances and you could see in the last 20 minutes that they started to suffer a little bit physically and that we created openings.

"Laurent Koscielny was absolutely outstanding today and he contributes to stabilise our defence. We missed him for nearly two months and it's important."

Now that Giroud is back, what Wenger will want most is the return of Theo Walcott as well, because once the speedy forward also returns from injury, then Arsenal should be able to slowly but surely get back into their goalscoring groove, or at least that is what the manager will hope.

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