Alexis Sanchez confounded his critics with a superb all round attacking display during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final.
The Chilean, contrary to many reports, received the nod ahead of Marcus Rashford on the left hand side and justified his selection with a perfectly guided header from Paul Pogba‘s cross to bring Man United level.
His second half display was replete with a series of piercing runs all over the pitch, with the former Arsenal man winning the ball off Tottenham players and igniting attacks – most notably for Ander Herrera‘s goal in the second half.
Sanchez’s numbers from the game shed light on just how ubiquitous he was against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Alexis Sanchez game by numbers vs. Tottenham:
13 passes completed
2 tackles won
2 chances created
1 take-on completed
Turning it on at Wembley, again. pic.twitter.com/pnndO6GPVX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 21, 2018
93 minutes were on the clock and the pattern of the game was like so many we have seen here: one side back in two banks of four, limiting the paces they need to take, just keeping in position, while the other throws the kitchen sink. The game sort of loses any semblance of professionalism at this point.
But not for Sanchez. Even after 93 minutes, with the ball being moved to Kieran Trippier at right back, the 29-year-old was there, sprinting at full pelt as if the game were 20 seconds old.
And that, more than anything, characterised his performance: one full of heart, dedication, sheer will – and one that played a huge role in steering United to the FA Cup final.