Alexis Sanchez had his best game in weeks against Crystal Palace.
Alexis’ form of late has been frustratingly poor but something about Thursday night sparked him into life.
Whether it’s because the transfer window is opening in a few days, or because Pep Guardiola was watching the game ahead of Manchester City’s visit to Selhurst Park, Arsenal clearly benefited from having the Chilean on top of his game.
Whatever his form, Alexis always dribbles a lot, losing the ball as he goes.
Risk taking is an inherent part of his game. According to WhoScored, he completed a match-high five dribbles – even more than the dribble-happy Wilfried Zaha – but was also dispossessed a match-high six times.
Yet, that mattered little due to his excellent production.
The 29-year-old’s brace was taken with typical Alexis style.
His first was a thunderous effort from a tight angle that left Julian Speroni little chance in the Palace goal.
His second was the mark of a truly top class player. His touch to take down Wilshere’s pass and cool finish into the corner were exquisite.
Those two goals mean that Alexis is now tied with Alexandre Lacazette as the club’s leading scorer this season.
On top of his goalscoring, he produced a number of fine through passes.
One in the first half which set-up Mesut Ozil for a good chance was particularly outstanding, and something we haven’t seen him do for a while.
Overall, he had 101 touches in the game, which was more than any other Arsenal player.
That showed that Arsenal were happy to channel their attack through him and saw his flank as the best way forward.
Alexis even worked very hard in defence.
He made sure to track Martin Kelly whenever the Palace defender ventured forward, and worked hard to win the ball back high up the pitch.
A few more performances like this would be a massive help to the team, even if he doesn’t stick around beyond January.