Arsenal’s superb South American talisman was on fire as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup last month – his all round ability the highlight of what was a fantastic final.
Winning manager Arsene Wenger said: “Alexis is a striker and a good winger who made a great impression on me when he was in Italy. I like the fact that he can play left, right and up front. That’s why I went for him. Alexis adds power, creativity and much quality to our squad.”
Wenger elected to use Danny Welbeck and omitted Olivier Giroud, and the extra pace forced Chelsea’s defence to play deeper, creating space between the lines when their midfield tried to press, allowing Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to run riot.
Sanchez has the versatility to play out wide in a front three (Wenger’s preferred formation) or through the middle, where his electric pace and trickery are equally effective. However, if you take a look at the goals he scored this season, many from wide positions, you will notice much of the time he employs a ‘shoot on sight’ policy where he takes his shot early. Many players will want an extra touch before letting fly, but Alexis has the confidence and the power to hit the ball at the earliest opportunity.
It would be wrong, however, to simply call Sanchez a goalscorer; he is also a team player, nipping across the lines in the final third, from right to left and through the middle, as well as dropping deep to pick up the ball in the ‘number 10’ position. From here he can pick out the team-mates ahead of him with quick and intelligent passes, while pulling his own marker way out of position in the process.
And boy did he show off his skills in the Cup Final.
If you run this Quick Draw drill from Soccer Coach Weekly, you could see your players creating and scoring like the man who turned the FA Cup Arsenal’s way.