Giroud vs Sanchez: Will Wenger rue the loss of his French hit-man?

Giroud vs Sanchez: Will Wenger rue the loss of his French hit-man?

During Arsenal’s comeback draw with Everton, new signing Alexis Sanchez was taken off at halftime and replaced by Olivier Giroud. The French striker ultimately scored the equaliser for the the Gunners in the last minute of stoppage time. But which of the two players were more effective for Arsenal?

During the first half, Spanish playmaker Alexis Sanchez actually failed to make much play. Only creating one chance, and only achieving a pass success rate of 63% – he didn’t make much impact on the game whatsoever.

He was brought in by Arsene Wenger partly due to his ability to take players on and beat them. However, against Everton he only attempted to take on two players; failing once, whilst succeeding from his second attempt.

Alexis Sanchez Heat Map (courtesy of



He didn’t make any crosses, which is a bit surprising given that his crossing skills are usually quite impressive. He didn’t have a single shot, which again is surprising as he was playing in such an attacking position. He committed two fouls and lost the only aerial duel he contested for.

Ultimately, the Chilean ineffective for Arsenal, failing to live up to the reputation he has carried throughout his career. Arsenal will be hoping for better in weeks to come.

Olivier Giroud replaced Sanchez on half time, and made an instant impact.

His superb attacking movement was put to the test as he peeled away from the centre-back to create space for himself, the ball came over his shoulder and he volleyed just over the bar. His movement is superb, and it means that he can always create space for himself to create chances.


Olivier Giroud Heat Map (courtesy of


During the game he had five shots on goal, two were on target and one of them was the equalising strike. The same with Sanchez, he failed to make any chances, but he did have a better pass accuracy of 71%.

He lost both aerial duels he went for, which for Giroud is quite disappointing. However he win two fouls for Arsenal in key areas. He also made a good defensive contribution, making one block and making a clearance, compared to Sanchez who made no difference defensively.

Sanchez’ heat map shows that he made very few venture’s into the area and that he didn’t play in many threatening areas for the Everton defence. I’m sure that Arsene Wenger will be looking for more threatening and dangerous play from Sanchez in the future.

Giroud’s heat map is a lot more dangerous, as he tended to play further up the pitch and in the area more. This is probably because Arsenal were 2-0 down when he was introduced to the game, so his instructions would have been to get in the box and to cause problems to the Everton defence.

In terms of making the most impact on the game, Olivier Giroud clearly made the biggest difference. Giroud made the difference by scoring the goal, but he was more influential when it came to other areas too. I’m sure it won’t take Sanchez long to adapt to the English game, but he needs to be more imposing on the opposition. 

Can Arsene Wenger’s side survive in Olivier Giroud’s absence? Join the discussion in the comment section below, or on Twitter @TBRFootball.


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