Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez goes into meltdown as Lionel Messi helps Argentina to beat Chile

Luke Brown
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez goes into meltdown as Lionel Messi helps Argentina to beat Chile

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has cut an increasingly frustrated figure in recent weeks. From fallouts with Arsene Wenger to repeated on-pitch tantrums, the striker has struggled for form as speculation over his future has intensified.

But any hope he had of seeking some refuge while away on international duty with Chile was dashed when the county was beaten 1-0 by Argentina in a crucial World Cup qualifying match, with Sanchez appearing to hit breaking point at the final whistle.

The forward played the full 90 minutes in Buenos Aires – despite an ankle injury forcing him off early during Arsenal’s recent 3-1 loss to West Brom – but could not help his side to beat an underwhelming Argentina.

Lionel Messi converted a penalty as Argentina laboured to a crucial win that puts them back in the automatic qualifying spots for next year's finals in Russia.

The result meanwhile sees Chile drop to 6th place in the South American qualification standings and in serious danger of failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2006.

Sanchez was comfortably Chile’s most influential player as the country piled on the pressure late on, but they could not find a way past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

The Arsenal forward came the closest to scoring the equaliser with a wonderful long-range free-kick which hit the bar and proved unable to control his emotions as the full-time whistle blew, pulling his national team shirt over his head before throwing himself to the floor.

Messi's goal was enough to see off Chile (AFP/Getty)

He then stormed off down the tunnel ahead of his team-mates, without stopping to applaud the travelling support.

Chile will play one more Qualifying match, at home to bottom-placed Venezuela, before Sanchez reports back to Arsenal.

Sanchez was unable to drag Chile back into the game (AFP/Getty )

How long he remains at the Emirates however remains to be seen, with news breaking earlier this week that Arsenal have shelved contract talks with Sanchez and Mesut Ozil until the end of the season.

The pair’s current deals end at the end of next season but an agreement has yet to be reached with both holding out for significantly improved terms.

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