Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez must improve in the bigger games

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Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation since his move to England, but should the Gunners be getting more for what they paid?

The Chilean recently turned 27 and so is entering what should be the peak of his career. Scoring 34 goals for the Gunners is a very healthy return on the £35 million fee, but how many of those were against the supposed small teams?


Only four of those have come against last season's top six - Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United - all of which were at home.


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The only big side he has scored against in the Champions League during his 17 month spell at the club was a struggling Borussia Dortmund.

In fact, throughout his entire four and a half year experience in Europe, the former Barcelona player has only scored against Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica, Galatasaray, Anderlecht, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb and the aforementioned Dortmund - hardly big hitters.

To be fair to the Chilean, his chances at Barcelona were limited and likely disrupted his rhythm, but when surrounded by the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, it's hardly an excuse.


Sanchez has yet to score in a big away match for Arsenal, but is that entirely his fault?

Luis Suarez was labelled a flat-track bully during his time at Liverpool despite scoring away at Arsenal twice, Everton twice, Manchester United twice, Chelsea and Tottenham.

The flat-track bully calls were aimed at him during his final season with the Reds in which he racked up 31 goals - a campaign in which he only scored at Old Trafford of last season's top four.

Where I had sympathy for Suarez, I now have for Sanchez. The former was way beyond most of his teammates and top teams therefore identified him as the main threat and quickly marked him out of the game.

The same seems to be happening to Sanchez at Arsenal. The north London outfit are notorious for finding it difficult against the bigger teams, winning only once away in the league against Chelsea, United and City over the past three seasons.

Arsene Wenger's players find it hard to win big matches for one reason or another, and Sanchez seems to be fitting that mould.


Luckily for the Arsenal forward he has time to rectify his record. With Anfield, two legs against Barcelona, Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and the Etihad to come, he could prove his critics wrong.

He shouldn't be heavily criticised for not scoring in tough away matches, because after all, they're tough for a reason.

Regardless, Sanchez must finally put the flat-track bully bug to bed in 2016 if Arsenal are to have any hope of lifting the Premier League trophy in May.

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Thierry Henry
Premier League

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