Analysis as Alexis Sanchez is hailed by Man United as a new superstar

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Alexis Sanchez had a home debut to savour for Manchester United as he inspired a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield.

The Chile superstar put in a live-wire display, crowned by a second goal for the club in three matches as he followed in his own missed penalty.

Here, we analyse the electric performance of the Chile superstar.

STATISTICS 

Goals – 1

Assists – 0

Shots – 6

Shots on target – 3

Touches – 120

Passes – 77

Key passes – 3

Dribbles – 9

Dispossessed – 5

30-SECOND REPORT

This was the type of all-action, maximum-return performance that United desired when they invested so much money in the forward.

His quick feet were witnessed for the first time at United in home colours when he cut inside several defenders and forced a smart save from 20 yards by Jonas Lossl. But a petulant side stained the rest of the first half, clearly diving in the penalty box and then letting his frustration at being kicked off the park get the better of him on the stroke of half-time when he hacked Florent Hadergjonaj for a clear booking.

Spurred on by the terriers’ bite in the tackle, he made the second half his own. Visiting skipper Tommy Smith and Netherlands defender Terence Kongolo had to be alert to produce fine blocks, before his quick feet drew a foul from the clumsy Michael Hefele for the penalty he converted at the second attempt.

Sanchez was ranked first for United in shots, shots on target, dribbles, losses of possession, fouls against and tackles. A complete display which will cheer manager Jose Mourinho.

GOT RIGHT

Providing a spark – Sanchez was simply everywhere. United’s attack has looked prosaic for far too long, despite a wealth of talent. The supreme contribution and desire of their new signing against sides which simply come to defend should prevent repeats of the dropped points already accrued this season against also rans such as Southampton, Burnley, Huddersfield (away) and Stoke.

Dribbling machine – When teams have stacked up their defences, United have too often failed to find the answer. The nine dribbles by Sanchez represents their highest tally in the league all season.

GOT WRONG

Keeping his cool – Being fouled is nothing new for Sanchez. Yet his reaction just before the break was unwarranted. Silly bookings can come to sting at the end of the season.

Stop the diving – Players can get reputations in the Premier League and it will not have gone unnoticed how easily Sanchez went to ground on several occasions. With his awesome set-piece delivery, he does not want to be denied possible opportunities by suspicious referees.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates his goal against Huddersfield.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates his goal against Huddersfield.

KEY MOMENTS

27th min CHANCE: Put on the afterburners and made Lossl spring across his goal to push away from 20 yards

29th min DIVE: Sanchez should feel embarrassed if he watches this moment back. Went down screaming for a penalty when Kongolo made no contact.

45th min +2 BOOKING: Looked to give retribution and picked on Hadergjonaj.

47th min CHANCE: Showed dancing feet inside the box and his shot was kept out by Smith.

48th min CHANCE: Same scenario saw Kongolo come to the rescue.

68th min PENALTY MISS AND GOAL: After being upended seconds earlier by Hefele, his low efforts to the left was blocked by Lossl. Kept a steely eye to slot in the rebound for a debut goal at Old Trafford.

73rd minute GREAT PASS: Tees up substitute Paul Pogba, but his effort is skewed wide.

VERDICT

United could have asked for little more from their new hero on home soil. He looked rejuvenated after his half season spent sulking at Arsenal.

Sanchez’s sights will now be set on repeating such antics in the Champions League on February 21 for the visit to La Liga’s Sevilla in the round of 16.

RATING: 8/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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Man United player ratings as Alexis Sanchez is a new hero and Romelu Lukaku gets a goal

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Huddersfield could not contain Alexis Sanchez (c).

Old Trafford hailed a new hero on Saturday as Alexis Sanchez ripped promoted Huddersfield to shred in a 2-0 victory in which he calmly converted his own missed penalty.

The January addition from Arsenal – with Armenia playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way in exchange – buzzed all over the pitch and got the goal his performance deserved in the second half, converting a spot-kick he won himself for a foul by Michael Hefele.

United had been frustrated throughout the first half by the team who shocked them in October, prior to Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku’s excellent opener on 55 minutes.

Here are the player ratings from Old Trafford…

MAN UNITED 

David De Gea – 6: The Spain No1 made a grand total of zero saves in an effortless afternoon.

Antonio Valencia – 6: Bossed his right flank in usual fashion. Provided width on the overlap as United’s three attacking midfielders cut inside.

Chris Smalling – 7: Kept his place after the Spurs debacle and justified manager Jose Mourinho’s faith. On this form, Phil Jones might have a wait to get his place back.

Marcos Rojo – 6: Showed usual aggression whenever he was called into action during his first top-flight start since January 1. His seven interceptions was the joint-highest recorded by any player on the pitch.

Luke Shaw – 7: Ever willing on the front foot, although he did get caught out for Huddersfield’s only moment of true attacking intent just before the interval.

Nemanja Matic – 6: Denied a rest yet again, despite Huddersfield coming into the fixture with one win in their last nine Premier League games. This was a perfect 26th start from 26 top-flight fixtures for the summer addition from Chelsea.

Scott McTominay – 6: A tidy display by ‘mini Matic’, who was also denied a clear first-half penalty after being wiped out by Monaco loanee Terence Kongolo. His passing accuracy of 91.5 per cent will cheer Mourinho, an avid supporter of his talents.

Jesse Lingard – 7: The understanding between himself and Alexis Sanchez is already evident. Denied another collector’s item of a goal, his beautiful ball control in the middle of the park putting him through and drawing a great low save from Jonas Lossl.

Juan Mata – 7: Rewarded the decision to hand him a contract extension by being the architect of everything good for United. Delightful first touch teed up Sanchez for his penalty. In total, produced a leading four key passes. Deserved his standing ovation when replaced on 71 minutes. Booked.

Alexis Sanchez – 8: This is why United went the extra mile to snatch the Chile superstar from Manchester City’s grasp. Marked Old Trafford debut with a goal, was fouled a leading six times, produced a top-rated nine dribbles and even led the way with five tackles of his own. United have badly missed a magician of his standard. Booked.

Romelu Lukaku – 7: The whole team celebrated with the Belgium centre forward when his sharp volley awarded him a second goal in seven Premier League games. Should thrive, once again, with Lingard, Mata and Sanchez’s supply.

SUBS

Paul Pogba – 6: Were gasps when the teamsheets were handed out and Pogba wasn’t present. Later, had nondescript run-out from 65 minutes.

Marcus Rashford – 6: Did very little with his 20 minutes on the pitch, despite get dispossessed a joint-second most times (2) for United.

Anthony Martial – N/A: Replaced Lukaku late on. Had a few almost moments.

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Man City ratings as Danilo proves to be shock danger man and Raheem Sterling has rare off day

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Danilo (c) celebrates his wonderful goal for Manchester City.

Manchester City dropped points in the Premier League for just the fourth time this season after Burnley midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson stole in on the back post late on to secure a 1-1 draw.

Amid the pouring rain at Turf Moor, the runaway leaders had gone ahead through a surprise source – under-utilised Brazil full-back Danilo placing a superb effort in from distance. The newly prolific Raheem Sterling then produced a horrific second-half miss, prior to Gudmundsson’s 82nd-minute intervention.

Here, we rate the City players:

Ederson – 7: Showed sterling concentration and could not be blamed for the leveller. Hardly had anything to do, but excelled in two clutch moments. Dove at feet of ex-City starlet Ben Mee and managed to push Aaron Lennon’s rocket onto the woodwork.

Kyle Walker – 5: Showed all the usual drive going forward, being denied a sixth assist of the Premier League season by Sterling’s awful miss. Yet, he critically fell asleep on the back post for Gudmundsson’s leveller.

Vincent Kompany – 6: Came through unscathed from his first Premier League start in 2018. Headed wide under pressure in first half.

Nicolas Otamdendi – 6: Would have felt the presence of new buy Aymeric Laporte on the substitute’s bench. Went about his business with minimum fuss.

Danilo – 8: Deserved to be on the winning side. Produced an unstoppable curled effort from 25 yards and also threatened several more times. Led the way in defence with four tackles – double any other City player’s tally.

Kevin De Bruyne -7: Didn’t produce a grandstand moment, yet was his usual silky self. Tested Nick Pope on a couple of occasion.

Fernandinho – 6: City’s quiet man put in a quiet display. Made zero tackles in defensive midfield.

Ilkay Gundogan – 6: Couldn’t get enough purchase on a tricky first-half pass for Sterling. Will be disappointed that only one of his 60 passes counted as a key one. Booked.

Bernardo Silva – 5: Now we see why Pep Guardiola pursued Riyad Mahrez. Failed to trouble his marker and produced zero shots. Technically, produced the assist for Danilo but the credit was the Brazil international’s sole preserve.

Sergio Aguero – 5: Another City player who put in an invisible display. Had one effort on goal and this was a header from a rebound. Needs Gabriel Jesus to return soon and take some of the attacking burden – this was the fifth time in nine matches during 2018 that the jaded Argentina international completed 90 minutes.

Raheem Sterling – 4: Produced one of the misses of the season when he went with the wrong foot and missed an open goal from Walker’s searing centre. Was soon hooked by manager Pep Guardiola and had the indignity of the camera panning to him on the bench when Burnley levelled. But this represents a rare bad performance in a career-best campaign for the 19-goal forward.

SUBS

Brahim Diaz – 5: Hardly noticed that the Spain Under-21 international had come on.

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