Arsenal's Sanchez vs Liverpool's Coutinho: One South American dominated the other in five key areas

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Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho went head to head on Saturday.

South American duo Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho faced off on Saturday as Arsenal boosted their top four hopes with a crushing 4-1 victory over Liverpool.

The duo have arguably been their respective sides’ best attacking outlets this season, receiving widespread praise from a number of pundits and observers alike.

While not exactly similar in type, both players are tasked with providing their teams with composure and creativity in the final third, and that was no different on Saturday.

The Gunners came out on top in a pulsating encounter, but how did the South Americans fare in comparison with each other?

  Goals ShotsKey PassesTake-onsTouches Accurate PassesBall RecoveriesMins Played
Alexis Sánchez 1 3 3 4 59 30 7 90
Philippe Coutinho 0 2 2 2 66 38 2 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, both players were busy in the final third but it was the North Londoners’ Chilean international who ultimately provided the bigger spark.

Aside from scoring his side’s third goal, the former Barcelona superstar attempted more shots, posted more key passes and recorded more successful take-ons than his opponent.

Moreover, Sanchez's work-rate in the final third was once again impressive, winning seven ball recoveries compared to the Brazilian international's two.

Despite the score-line and Arsene Wenger’s side’s first-half dominance, Coutinho didn’t shy away from the responsibility as he took as many as 66 touches – among his side’s highest tallies.

He also recorded more accurate passes than Sanchez, although the Gunners favourite posted a slightly better pass completion rate.

Alongside Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa, these two playmakers have been flying the flag high for the South American-born players in the Premier League this season with not much between them.

However, on Saturday there appeared a clear winner at the Emirates and fortunately for the North Londoners their summer recruit proved exactly why the Gunners paid so heavily for his services.

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