Sanchez had scored three goals in his previous three games but after his early shot was tipped onto both posts by Thibaut Courtois, the Chilean gave way to others in a thrilling London derby.
With the January transfer window now open and Sanchez yet to sign a new deal with Gunners, scrutiny on his performances has increased.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at his display at the Emirates Stadium.
Sanchez took his place on the left side of an attacking midfield duo alongside Mesut Ozil and behind Alexandre Lacazette. While Ozil, however, often dropped deeper to form a midfield three with Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka, Sanchez stayed high, hanging off Chelsea’s midfield waiting for a chance to counter-attack.
With transfer speculation now in full flow, some might have expected Sanchez’s focus to waver but there was little evidence of that here. He was harrying Chelsea’s back five from the off and when he cleared out Cesc Fabregas from behind late in the first half, there was no shortage of passion in his vociferous protesting towards referee Anthony Taylor. Fabregas smothered him with a smiling hug.
Sanchez went closest to a first-half breakthrough as his toe-poked finish was tipped onto one post by Courtois, rolled across the line and hit the other post before staying out. He twice tried to play in Ozil too and almost connected with Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ deep cross at the start of the second half, but the ball was just too high. As the match wore on, however, Sanchez’s influence faded.
For a period in the first half it looked as though Sanchez would again be a protagonist in this end-to-end contest but he drifted into the background as the late goals flew in. Few could argue this was a result of off-field distractions, however. Sanchez seemed as committed as ever and after three games in seven days, he may simply have run out of gas.
Following a pulsating 2-2 draw between Arsenal and Chelsea on Wednesday night, we take a closer look at how the players rated after an Emirates thriller.
Petr Cech – 6
Hector Bellerin – 6
Danny Welbeck (for Lacazette, 80) – 6
Theo Walcott (for Chambers, 88) – 6
Thibaut Courtois – 8
Victor Moses – 6
Andreas Christensen – 6
Gary Cahill – 6
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7
Marcos Alonso – 8
Tiemoue Bakayoko – 6
N’Golo Kante – 7
Cesc Fabregas – 7
Eden Hazard – 8
Alvaro Morata – 4
Davide Zappacosta (for Moses, 56) – 7
Danny Drinkwater (for Fabregas, 71) – 6
Willian (for Hazard, 82) – 7
TWEET OF THE MATCH
“It was coming. Terrific goal from @JackWilshere. Great to see him back to full fitness. Never been lacking in ability.” Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) pays tribute to Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, whose goal gave Arsenal the lead.
If there was any player that deserved not to be on the losing side it was Wilshere, who continued his recent renaissance with a dynamic display in midfield. Hard in the tackle, inventive in the final third, Wilshere’s emphatic finish to open the scoring was the highlight of another excellent performance. England manager Gareth Southgate will surely be taking note.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
There was enough chances here to win five matches let alone one but Davide Zappacosta crashing a shot against the crossbar at the very end was certainly the most dramatic. After Bellerin had just made it 2-2, Arsenal almost contrived to throw it away again as Alvaro Morata missed a one-on-one before Zappacosta rattled the woodwork with the follow-up.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 3, 2018
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal (FA Cup Third Round, January 7).
Norwich v Chelsea (FA Cup Third Round, January 6).
It looked like Chelsea had come from behind to triumph when Marcos Alonso struck six minutes from time, after Jack Wilshere’s first league goal since May 2015 had been cancelled out by an Eden Hazard penalty.
But the Gunners would not be beaten and Bellerin punished Alonso’s poor clearing header with a fine finish for a share of the points – though there was still time for Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta to hit the crossbar.
Alvaro Morata had missed a glorious chance to give Chelsea a 14th-minute lead and the visitors were then indebted to a Thibaut Courtois save which pushed Alexis Sanchez’s shot on to both posts.
Wilshere broke the deadlock, but there were doubts over whether the midfielder should have been on the pitch.
Already booked, Wilshere went down looking for a free-kick on the edge of the area and might have received a second yellow card from referee Anthony Taylor for simulation.
The Gunners’ lead lasted just four minutes as Hector Bellerin was adjudged to have fouled Hazard, who equalised with the resulting penalty.
Alonso’s effort appeared decisive, only for Bellerin to strike.
Hostilities between the teams will be renewed in a week’s time, in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.