Alexis Sanchez could regain lost confidence after game against Juventus
To the delight of all Manchester United fans last Saturday, Alexis Sanchez returned to the starting line-up against Bournemouth.
The Chilean last started a match for United in the 0-0 draw with Valencia in the Champions League a month ago and was on the bench for the 2-1 win over Everton at Old Trafford. And after Romelu Lukaku was ruled out through injury, Alexis Sanchez started up front for the Red Devils at Bournemouth last weekend.
Truth to be told, Sanchez has found himself struggling for form this season, having contributed just one goal and an assist in eight appearances in all competitions prior to the Bournemouth game.
Sanchez had often previously been deployed on the left-hand side of attack by Jose Mourinho but an injury to out-of-form striker Lukaku gave the Chilean an opportunity to lead United’s attack against the Cherries.
And the 29-year-old responded with one of his best performances in a United shirt, setting up Anthony Martial’s equalizer and looking far more destructive than his displays on the left. Sanchez constantly kept the Bournemouth defenders on their toes with his intelligent movement and pace. He got himself into promising positions, stretched the hosts’ defence by making great runs and helped United win the ball higher up the pitch in the second half at the Vitality stadium.
United fans have been waiting for such displays from Sanchez, who was a menacing force for Arsenal in his three-year stay at Emirates. In reality, the Chile international has been a shadow of his former self so far at Old Trafford and despite taking part in pre-season, he has not shown his best form in 2018/19.
But it appears as if Sanchez has turned a corner in his United career by scoring the dramatic winner against Newcastle United last month. The nippy forward also gave a glimpse of his quality against Bournemouth and did adequately against Juventus as well.
In what was an incredible encounter, Mourinho’s Red Devils secured all 3 points against a strong Juventus side at Turin. Despite going up against the likes of Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, United held strong. A goal from Juan Mata and an own goal from Alex Sandro was enough for the away side to walk away with the win.
And once against, Sanchez played well. He seemed to be relishing the freedom while playing through the middle and although he did not score a goal, he did do far better than his previous displays. Granted, his decision-making was a tad questionable but the signs are all there for him to make this role his own in Lukaku’s absence.
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With Lukaku out with a muscle problem and completely out of form, Mourinho did a great job by starting Sanchez up front against Juventus. If the Red Devils are to return back home with a positive result against Manchester City as well, Sanchez’s contribution would be crucial.