Coutinho v Sanchez: Who was better at the Emirates?

Comparing Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal and Liverpool played out a thoroughly entertaining 0-0 draw at the Emirates in a Premier League match which saw South American duo Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez go head to head.

Both players headed into the encounter having made telling contributions already this season - Coutinho firing a Liverpool winner at Stoke City and Sanchez helping his side to a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

It was a spectacle which was drummed up as the game of the weekend and despite finishing 0-0, it didn’t disappoint with both sides creating plenty of opportunities.

Coutinho and Sanchez were at the thick of their respective sides’ most notable chances – but which player had the most impact on the game? We take a look from a statistical perspective.

  Shots on TargetKey PassesTake-onsTouchesFwd PassesBall RecoveriesDispossessedMins Played
Philippe Coutinho 3 1 3 58 15 12 5 88
Alexis Sánchez 0 3 3 101 15 3 7 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, both South American playmakers excelled in key attacking areas but on the balance of it, Coutinho appears to have impressed most.

The former Inter Milan star was heavily influential in the first half, twice hitting the woodwork, with his second shot in particular forcing Petr Cech into a world class save.

He worked the Arsenal goalkeeper three times, recorded three take-ons and produced as many as 12 ball recoveries as he worked tirelessly in getting back and holding a defensive shape for his side.

Sanchez certainly saw more of the ball, as illustrated by his whopping 101 touches throughout, and he created more chances for his teammates.

However, the recent Copa America champion was also quite wasteful in possession and was dispossessed seven times as the visitors defended stoutly, especially during the second period.

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