When Alexis Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona in the summer, one of the only concerns with the transfer would have been whether he’d be able to show a gritty, ugly side in Arsenal colours.
The Chilean’s ability to control games with fast paced, slick attacking football has never been questioned, but the Mirror has praised the way he fought last night as the Gunners endured a difficult night in Belgium.
“Only Alexis Sanchez, a real street fighter and warrior, did himself justice as he chased down every ball, fought for every challenge and kept going until the end,” assessed John Cross.
For the majority of the game it looked as though Sanchez’ hard work would go unrewarded as a goal from Tottenham linked Andy Najar threatened to condemn Arsenal to a second frustrating result inside a week.
However, they kept battling and Arsene Wenger’s blushes were spared when goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski late on in the game secured three points, putting Arsenal in a good position as they aim for a place in the last 16.
The different type of performance from Sanchez is significant looking ahead to the knock on effects in the Premier League.
When he first joined, he may have been a little overwhelmed by the physical nature of English football but he’s proven that he can get stuck in with the sort of performance, which he will have to produce at some points this season in the league.
Arsenal sit second in the group behind Borussia Dortmund who have a literally perfect record from all games played so far, without conceding a single goal yet in the competition.
Arsenal’s and Sanchez’ focus now switches to the Premier League clash against Sunderland this weekend, where he may well be forced to produce a similar style of performance.