Arsenal moved to the top of the league (at least temporarily) after a convincing 4-1 win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon. There were two goals from both Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud as the Gunners players earned lots of plaudits for digging in late on.
Alexis was the man of the match as he showed not just that he could score goals, but that he can also hold up the ball very well, connect the play really well and hold it up really well. He even scored a headed goal, beating the much taller Sunderland defender to the ball and glancing it into the far corner. He’s becoming a complete striker and some are even suggesting that he could now be the best in the Premier League.
We take a look at the numbers behind the Chilean’s quality performance. Firstly he earned a magnificent WhoScored match rating of 9.54. He had 3 shots, scoring with two of them. 1 key pass, 5 successful dribbles, attempted 3 long balls, 2 of them being accurate. He was also at his usual best in his workrate, tirelessly defending and attacking and causing huge problems for Sunderland – making 1 interception and 1 tackle. It was almost a faultless performances from him. The only thing you can criticise is when he sometimes overdoes it, but when you have a player capable of such quality, you’ve sometimes got to let them overdo it a bit, because when it works, it makes the difference.
What I liked in Alexis’ play today was his all-round game. He dropped deep and linked the play well, but when he needed to be in the box, he usually was. This was demonstrated with his instinctive attacking header to give the Gunners the lead in the first half.
Read more: Arsenal’s Player Ratings vs. Sunderland
We take a look at how Twitter reacted to Alexis’ brace and all-round quality performance. It seems he is now not just being talked about as Arsenal’s best player, but perhaps the best player in the league altogether.
8 goals and 6 assists for Alexis Sanchez this season. Our best player.
— Arsenal FC (@FFArsenal) October 29, 2016
So so clever from Alexis, that dummy and then that finish. Special player, world class.
— Sir Jenkinson (@theEpicGooner) October 29, 2016
Form wise Alexis is probably the best player in the league right now
— Ka (@kingofkgn) October 29, 2016
In 106 games, Alexis has scored 50 goals and assisted 29 times. What a player. ??? pic.twitter.com/PKGII7rFSa
— 1886 (@1886_blog) October 29, 2016
Alexis will be the best #9 in the league soon.
— Pedro 〽️ (@danskin1886) October 29, 2016
Alexis Sanchez! Best player in the league right now! hands down!
— Supree (@LadyGooner8) October 29, 2016
With Olivier Giroud now back in the squad (and scoring), Alexis cannot afford for his game to drop. I expect he will keep his place as a striker, but with Giroud hungry to win his place back and also doing everything right so far, Alexis needs to maintain this form – if he can, then he can prove himself as the best in the league. Arsenal fans will now hope he signs that contract…