Alexis Sánchez could be the Key!
Whenever a former player, returns to a place where the home fans used to adore him, most of the time, two things happen:
• 1. He’s jeered every time he touches the ball.
• 2. He scores.
Last night with the 30 years old Tocopilla Chilean born Alexis Sánchez, playing his first game at the Emirates since his acrimonious move to Manchester United during January 2018’s transfer window, that’s exactly what happened.
Goal 41 at the Emirates
During his days at Arsenal Sánchez scored 40 goals, in all competitions, on The Emirates pitch, which would have no doubt pleased all Arsenal fans. Goal number 41 came in the 31st minute when Romelu Lukaku put him through. Arsenal’s keeper, 36 year old Czechoslovakian born and 5 times FA Cup Winner Petr Čech, rushed off his line but Sánchez went around him and squeezed the ball in from a narrow-angle. That goal didn’t go down too well with the Arsenal faithful! And for Čech, who’s announced his retirement plans, if Arsenal didn’t come back this would be his last FA Cup appearance of his illustrious.
United in the 5th Round Draw
Arsenal didn’t come back and Manchester United joined Bristol City, who kicked off 10 minutes earlier, as the 2nd team in the 5th round draw. Jesse Lingard, 90 seconds after Sánchez, slotted home United’s 2nd also set up by Lukaku. Just before half time, United were opened up and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from close range.
At the start of the 2nd half, Arsenal needed to quick goal and it nearly came from a soon to be departing to Juventus Aaron Ramsey’s header in the 46th minute. United’s stand-in keeper, 31 year old Bernardo de Irigoyen born Argentinan Sergio Romero, pulled off a fine save. Arsenal’s potential game changer, the out of favour German Mesut Özil, came on in the 64th minute but he couldn’t make any impact. Anthony Martial wrapped things up in the 82nd minute when Čech could only parry Pogba’s shot straight to him.
For Manchester United, that means 8 straight wins in all competitions and they managed the game very well. There’s also no doubt that Sánchez is a superstar and, if he can find his old form which he lost after his Arsenal meltdown, United could well make up for last season when Chelsea Eden Hazard’s 22nd minute penalty condemned them to runners up spot.