Manchester United’s performance was so dire against Newcastle United that even after missing an open goal, it was still clear to see that Alexis Sanchez was streets ahead of his teammates.
It’s quite rare that in a match the best player on the team didn’t register a goal or assist but this was one of those occasions.
Still, Sanchez’s enthusiasm was superb, his effort tireless and in the end that was appreciated by most just the away supporters but the home faithful.
The energy throughout the ninety minutes became unarguable, from bursts of acceleration through the minimal challenges that United actually created to dropping back into midfield when his team needed to stem any attack.
More interceptions and chances created than any player in the Red Devils squad, Sanchez became a constant nuisance to the Newcastle back-line.
One period in the first half proved this. The ball was whisked out to the left hand side, and although it looked like it was difficult to control the Chilean managed to nestle the ball into the outside of the foot, use his low centre of gravity to turn his marker and find the pass to move the team further up the pitch.
Individual moments of brilliance like that is what this United team have missed since Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Real Madrid since 2009. That distinctive shirt will be treasured by Sanchez,and the fans will do the same likewise. It’s not to compare the two players. Ronaldo is one of the world’s best, and will probably rank in the top five of all time. Sanchez has still yet to prove himself on that scale.
Yet the quality is undoubted. And them came the moment in which most United fans dropped their heads in disbelief, with many opposition supporters laughing their heads off, pointing to a £350,000 per week wage.
Missing an open goal is never nice but when you are the Premier League’s best player there is the expectation you don’t need an extra touch, and instead have the ability to just place the ball in the next first time. But unfortunately for the Red Devils Sanchez decided to do exactly that, allowing Newcastle to scamper back and clear off the line.
It may have not been the Chilean’s finest moment but the next match in the league is Chelsea at Old Trafford. If there is any game in which Sanchez can prove himself to be the player everyone thinks he is it is that game. After all, he would’ve been more devastated about that miss than anyone else.