Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has hailed Alexis Sanchez’s performance in Arsenal’s victory over Besiktas on Wednesday evening.
The Chilean forward led the line impressively at Emirates Stadium, scoring his first goal for the club to secure a 17th consecutive season in the Champions League.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is delighted that Arsenal have qualified for the competition and believes the squad have enough depth to cope with Olivier Giroud’s absence.
“It is a blow for us because Olivier is a great player,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“But we have got Yaya Sanogo who is chomping at the bit in training, and Alexis Sanchez played absolutely unbelievably [on Wednesday night].
“I did not realise a man as small as Alexis could hold the ball up so well against big defenders. He did it unbelievably well all night.
“There are players in the squad who can fill the [central striker] role. We have got Theo coming back as well. Whoever is playing up front, I am sure they will be confident of filling in.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was relieved to survive a tense finish against Besiktas at Emirates Stadium to reach the group stage once again.
“It is massive [to be in the Champions League]. Sometimes it seems like everything. For us as players, we put that expectation on ourselves because we want to be playing in the competition,” he said.
“We know how hard we worked at the end of last season to make sure we got in the position to give ourselves this chance this year, and we really did not want to waste that.
“We have not been playing tremendous football and we will be the first ones to own up to that. But one thing we can say is that we stuck together in every single game.
“We ground out a result at Crystal Palace, to go down to 10 men away in Besiktas was really tough, and then obviously to come back at Everton in the fashion we did from 2-0 down. We stuck together, kept going and managed to get a result.
“Again [on Wednesday] we showed that togetherness to see the game out. That is going to be really important for us. Before all the pretty football and the technical side of things, you need that togetherness and commitment. So far, so good in that department.”