Wenger defends Ozil, hopes to have Sanchez back against Liverpool

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The Germany international put in a lacklustre display on Saturday, but his boss believes he was not to blame for the loss

Arsene Wenger has defended Mesut Ozil's performance after Arsenal's defeat to Stoke City and hopes to have Alexis Sanchez back when his side face Liverpool next week.

Ozil saw his performance and attitude in Saturday's 1-0 away defeat come in for criticism from the likes of ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown and former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard after the match.

Arsenal 10/1 to beat Liverpool 1-0

But Wenger does not feel the Germany international deserves to be singled out after the damaging defeat.

He also believes Sanchez, who like Ozil has under a year left on his Arsenal, will be back in contention from an abdominal strain in time to face Liverpool in a crucial clash at Anfield next Sunday.

"I think he did fight," Wenger told reporters of Ozil's performance.

"It is difficult to single anybody out. I believe we had many, many chances and personally I don't think he deserves [criticism]."

On Sanchez, Wenger said: "If all goes well through the week, he should be available to be selected for the next game, yes."

Wenger also stood by his initial view that Alexandre Lacazette's second-half goal should not have been ruled out for offside.

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"100 per cent [it should have stood], I just watched it," said Wenger.

"It was not offside at all, even his foot was not offside.

"But we have to swallow that, we should have scored despite that. It was another detail that did not go our way."

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