Alexis Sanchez may well end up playing Champions League football next season, but Arsenal are in danger of missing out on a spot in Europe’s Premier club competition for the first time in 20 years, according to RTÉ soccer analyst Eamon Dunphy.

Liverpool inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, overtaking the Gunners in the Premier League table as they moved up to fourth.

Sanchez, who set Danny Welbeck's goal in the second half at Anfield, started from the bench – a ploy initially described as tactical, but which has subsequently been widely reported as a sanction on the Chilean for a bust-up with his team-mates.

The Chilean has cut an increasingly frustrated figure as Arsenal have seen their title hopes evaporate, while Sanchez was visibly upset after a 5-1 mauling by Bayern Munich in the first leg of the club’s Champion League round of 16 encounter.

The former Republic of Ireland international disagreed with the decision to bench the talismanic striker, telling listeners of 2fm's Game On programme: “It was obviously a disciplinary measure. I would say if you want to discipline him, leave him out of the squad altogether. I think what he did was neither one nor the other.

“I think he’s made his mind up that he’s going to leave”

“He put him on the bench, then at half-time when they needed a change, he brought him on. I thought it was an indecisive thing to do.

“Looking at Sanchez’s profile overall, for Chile, where he’s captain, a leader, and for Arsenal where he’s been a terrific player and a leader, I thought it was strange, foolish and a sign Arsenal are in big, big trouble.”

Dunphy believes an exit for the 28-year-old is now inevitable.

“I think he’s made his mind up that he’s going to leave,” he said.

“He’s only got a year left on his contract. Juventus are said to want him and I’m sure lots of clubs would want him

“It’s bad news for Arsenal.”

When quizzed over the likelihood of Arsenal’s 20-year Champions League streak ending, Dunphy added:

“I think there is a very good chance it is, I really do. They’re in trouble.”

“The answer you’d get from the boss of the Premier League is ‘look, baby, this is the most popular league in the world and we don’t need lessons from any of you guys'"

Dunphy also expressed his frustration at a number of contentious refereeing decisions in the top flight over the weekend and officialdom’s continued failure to embrace video technology.

“Soccer appears to be stuck in the Ice Age, despite the evidence that the officials are being undermined.

“They keep getting things wrong; big things, match-deciding things.

“The Manchester United match, I thought, was ruined by a couple of really bad fouls. One by Tyrone Mings when he kicked Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the head and one by Ibrahimovic when he elbowed Mings in the head.

“That kind of anarchy, it really what it is, it needs a strong response.

“The people in the English Premier League won’t do anything about it, the people in FIFA are too busy lining their own pockets, so nothing is going to get done.

“The answer you’d get from the boss of the Premier League is ‘look, baby, this is the most popular league in the world and we don’t need lessons from any of you guys.

“There’s hubris there.

“It’s very valuable property, the Premier League.

“It’s intense, it’s exciting, but it really sometimes hurts you to watch the wrong decisions made in half the Premier League games, or maybe more, every weekend.”