Report: Queens Park Rangers’ Joey Barton on how to stop Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton thinks that he knows how to stop Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez from playing his natural game.

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has told BBC Sport that the only way to stop Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is to put two players on him.

Chile international Sanchez has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and was again superb on Sunday.

The 26-year-old scored two goals and provided an assist in Arsenal’s 3-0 home win against Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium.

Barton was critical of Sanchez when Arsenal signed him from Barcelona in the summer transfer window for £35 million, but he has now come to accept the former Udinese star as a brilliant player.

The 32-year-old, though, has an idea of how Sanchez can be stopped from playing his game.

“The only way to stop him is to double up on him, like Chelsea did when they beat Arsenal in October,” Barton told BBC Sport. “I have said before that Sanchez does not play well against the top teams, and certainly the Blues dealt with him a lot better than Stoke did.

“The key is to tell one player to stand on him and stop him getting momentum, and tell another to clean up behind him.

“You need to try to disrupt him every time he gets a pass and pick up any loose balls too because we know his reactions are so quick...

“But that is easier said than done because, if you do end up in a one-on-one situation with him, you are in trouble, no matter what you do.”

Barton’s strategy to stop Sanchez sounds good in theory, but in practice it is not that easy. Given the Chilean’s footballing intelligence, he could easily get the better of the defender who has been asked “to stand on him”.

On the day, it comes to who plays better: the defender or Sanchez.

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