Alexis Sanchez still has ‘great affection’ for Arsenal as he eyes win over Spurs

Alexis Sanchez has admitted he still has great affection for Arsenal as he aims to dump arch-rivals Tottenham out of the Champions League.

The ex-Gunners hero, 33, will line up for Marseille in tonight's European crunch clash with every spot still undecided in Group D. The Ligue 1 outfit currently sit bottom of the group on six points but a win would see Igor Tudor's side leapfrog their Premier League counterparts and secure a Champions League knockout spot for the first time in a decade.

Defeat for Spurs in southern France would condemn them to the Europa League for the rest of the 2022/23 campaign, and Sanchez has admitted it would be another "great joy" to add to Tottenham's woes.

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"I have some great memories with everyone at the club, especially the fans," Sanchez told reporters ahead of Tuesday evening's match. "Beating Spurs every time was a great joy. It was very special and those are memories that I hold dear to my heart.

"Every single player has motivation to play and win. We all want to bring the victory back. In the dressing room, there is a lot of passion. Playing in front of the fans with their atmosphere is super important and that will drive us on."

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Leaving the Emirates Stadium in 2018, as part of a swap deal with Henrik Mkhitaryan, Sanchez flopped massively at Manchester United, netting just five goals. Despite his poor spell at the Red Devils, the former Barcelona star came back to haunt Spurs once again by scoring the opening goal in the FA Cup semi-final before he was shipped out on loan to Inter Milan.

Sanchez then joined the Serie A giants permanently in the summer of 2020, playing a part in their Scudetto-winning side under "demanding coach" Antonio Conte.

"We had a great experience together but he is a very demanding coach,' said Sanchez, when quizzed on his former boss. "If you don't give 100 per cent you don't play the next game."

After receiving a red card in the aftermath of Harry Kane's disallowed goal against Sporting Lisbon last week, Conte is banned from the dressing room and dugout at the Orange Velodrome, with assistant manager Cristian Stellini taking his place on the touchline.

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