If Alexis Sanchez had played at his very best for Arsenal this season, it is more than likely that they would currently be leading the Premier League title race.
The Chile international hit the ground running after signing from Barcelona in 2014 and finished his debut season as the club's top scorer with 25 goals. This season, however, has seen him regress with form and fitness issues limiting him to just 11 strikes.
While Arsenal fans continue to pine for the Alexis Sanchez of yesteryear, Chile fans are wondering what all the fuss is about. Indeed, the winger-come-forward has continued his sensational form on the international stage throughout his troubled domestic spell.
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That was no truer than in Chile's dominant 4-1 win over Venezuela in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier. Sanchez did not manage to get on the scoresheet but did set up two of the goals as the Copa America champions moved one step closer to qualifying for Russia 2018.
One of his assists was so sublime, we have written a story about it. Where can you find this story? Right here! That's where.
Sprinting towards the byline, Sanchez completely fooled a defender with a deft cutback before nonchalantly poking the ball across the six-yard box for Arturo Vidal to tap home. The brilliance was that the hapless defender that Sanchez had just made a fool of was the only man playing Vidal onside.
Here is the video:
That was Sanchez's second assist of the night after he delivered a peach of a corner right onto Mauricio Pinilla's forehead in the first half. You can see the full game highlights in the embedded video below.
Full game highlights
The win gives Chile every chance of qualifying for the World Cup but there is still plenty of work to do if they are to take the long flight to Moscow in two years time. They currently sit fourth in the table, level on points with fifth-placed Colombia and just one behind Paraguay in seventh.
Only the top four will qualify for the World Cup with fifth entering a playoff against the Oceania Zone winner, which will almost definitely be New Zealand. Worryingly, Chile are only in fourth place because of Brazil's poor showing. They're in sixth with nine points but will almost certainly come good to seal their place in the tournament.
It seems that any one of the top six teams have a good chance of qualifying, meaning one big name teams is likely to fall short. Still adapting to life without inspirational coach Jorge Sampaoli, Chile will need a couple more big performances from Sanchez if they are to avoid catastrophe.
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