After Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down at halftime against Liverpool, it was up to Alexis Sanchez to save the day… again.
The Chilean, who has been in the press again this week after a ‘group’ of his fans decided to protest against him staying at Arsenal, instantly changed the game after Arsene Wenger introduced him in the second half.
The team looked brighter with him among them and he even assisted Danny Welbeck’s goal, meaning he’s now contributed to 34 goals in 33 games this season.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) March 4, 2017
During the half he was on the pitch, Alexis completed 14/21 passes, 5/11 of which were in the final third and although he spent most of the time in his usual wide-left position where he enjoyed drifting into the centre, he did actually spend some time tracking back. As much as I appreciate Alexis’ attacking play, this is something he’s needed to work on.
However, almost all of Alexis’ successful passes in the final third occurred earlier on in the second half. Not the first time, we saw a burst of energy from the fired-up 28-year-old before he seemed to sink back into the background.
This isn’t new. Alexis has been poor for a few matches now and Wenger starting him on the bench was necessary. The boss has been criticised for automatically starting Mesut Ozil in the past so not starting the Chilean during such a huge game was a statement.
Although many could argue that perhaps now wasn’t the time to make it. He’s only one man, granted, and it’s worrying that we’re so reliant on him, but there’s no arguing that every Gooner breathed a sigh of relief when they saw him jogging onto the pitch after the break.
While Alexis isn’t a perfect player by any means and does appear to be going through a rather comparatively poor spell, I wholeheartedly agree that Alexis is Arsenal’s best player at the moment and we wouldn’t be where we are (which doesn’t say a lot) without him this season.
Sources: Whoscored, FourFourTwo’s Statszone.