Analysing Alexis Sanchez's Man of the Match performance for Arsenal against Hull
Arsenal Football Club made a bad start to the Premier League season, losing their opener to Liverpool and drawing against Leicester City. However, since then, Arsene Wenger’s men have been in a rich vein of form and have soared up the table. One man at the heart of their brilliance is Alexis Sanchez, and it was a real pleasure to watch him put on another masterclass against Hull City at the weekend.
Hull City themselves have made a positive start to the season, but their bubble was well and truly burst in the 4-1 loss to The Gunners yesterday, and Alexis Sanchez was a real thorn in their side throughout his Man of the Match performance.
The 27-year-old attacker was right at it from minute one, running at the Tigers’ defenders and causing real problems for Mike Phelan’s men. Sanchez’s first strike came about in somewhat fortunate circumstances, though, as he got a boot on the end of Alex Iwobi’s shot to poach himself a goal.
His second goal came as the game was drawing to a close in the 83rd minute, but it was crucial as it killed off any momentum Hull City had gained just after Robert Snodgrass’ converted penalty. After some good work from Theo Walcott, the ball fell to Sanchez who drifted by a couple of Hull defenders before slamming a rasping shot into the roof of the net. A finish that meant all three points would be coming back to the Emirates.
There was a small blemish on the day for the in-form Chilean though, who missed a penalty just before half-time after an obvious handball from Jake Livermore. Sanchez stepped up and took responsibility, but he made it easy for Hull City’s Jakupovic to stop the shot.
Tactically, Sanchez was brilliant on the day. He scored two goals, but also laid on a pair of key passes for his team-mates as he created chances aplenty to help his side climb up the Premier League table. He was also very accurate with his shots on goal. The Copa America champion had five efforts on goal and hit the target with four; which is an impressive 80% finding the destination.
His trickery and ability on the ball meant Hull’s back-line found it extremely hard to deal with the Arsenal winger, as he drew two fouls as the game wore on to give his side a breather.
Passing is a key part of Arsenal’s mantra, and if you are to play regularly in Arsene Wenger’s sides, this is something you must excel at. Sanchez completed 69 balls to his teammates, at an impressive 85% ratio which is considerably high given the nature of his style of play and positioning on the field. This will please the manager, and it certainly bodes well going forward.
Wenger clearly believes that the Chilean has what it takes to make it as a striker in the Premier League, and Sanchez backed that up in a potentially tricky fixture today. You do feel that his long-term place in the team lies out wide, but once again, the French gaffer got it right and £31 million man certainly felt the benefits of that over the weekend.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ronnie Macdonald.
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