Tonight’s game against Barcelona ended up with a defeat and a frustrating feeling for Alexis Sanchez against his former team.
He started in his favourite and usual left side position and he was involved in a lot of play during the night but was unable to create anything decisive – not a pass, a move or a shot.
On a day where defending was a must, his work rate was superb and he made some important saving tackles throughout the game. He certainly did a lot of work doubling up to help Monreal against the pairing of Messi and Alves. That side of his game was spot on tonight.
But on the attacking side, he was quite poor and has not rediscovered his form that made him a lethal weapon. There is no doubt that he looked over-eager to impress in a game against his former club but it was detrimental to the team.
There were times where he could have played a simple pass or limited his touches but he seemed hell bent on taking on, one, two or even sometimes three players on his own.
He was not helped either by an inconsistent referee, as he was repeatedly fouled and was not always rewarded with a free-kick, sometimes getting an advantage or sometimes nothing at all.
So the most telling image of the game was the number of times you could see him frustrated arms up in the air because he did not receive the ball while unmarked or when his passes went ashtray and did not find his team-mates.
He simply did not click with the other players offensively and his contribution was therefore not at the level needed to help the team on the night. I was actually expecting him to be subbed and Campbell to come on for him but we saw Flamini on for Coquelin.