Alexis Sanchez had what teammates described as a phenomenal night for Chile, scoring a goal from a direct free kick and providing an assist in a crucial win over Venezuela. But the question on everyone’s mind must be “yeah, but how many turnovers did he have?”
The Arsenal star had what I would call an “eventful” match. He scored Chile’s first goal with a direct free kick from about 25 yards. It was the kind of goal that would normally deserve some kind of physics breakdown or one of those “how does this get made” videos. He simply kicked the ball, really hard, with a bit of curl, then hit the underside of the crossbar, near the corner, and scored.
For Chile’s second goal Alexis was, and let’s be fair here, ball hoggin. But, he did just go ahead and dribble through the entire team like a dog in a sausage factory. Then when someone finally made a run in the box, he slotted the ball in for them with the perfect weight and spin and a note saying “stroke me“), so they could play across to Chile’s number 9 who was standing all alone in the middle of the 6 yard box. It’s not very often that you’ll hear me praise a player for a pre-assist – a stat so hairy you could shave its back – but this was a pre-assist of Bergkamp quality.
Alexis wasn’t done.
For the third goal, Alexis again was ball hoggin. This time, though, he passed wide, and darted toward goal. His teammate tried to pick him out but the return pass had about as much quality as an Eboue goal celebration and looked likely to be floated out of touch. But Alexis headed the ball back across goal and basically onto Beausejour’s head to score. Yeah, I believe Alexis headed the ball onto another man’s head and I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose. You can’t tell me otherwise. I’m not listening. The man is now a saint.
Saint Alexis wasn’t done. He just kept playing delightful throughballs to his teammates. One picked out the atrociously coiffed Vidal, who, standing alone, in the middle of the 18 yard box, passed the ball wide of the net. Vidal missed several chances created by Saint Alexis and must now do penance for wasting the feast of the saints.
Santa Alexis kept providing. Time and again loading up gifts for his teammates who spurned them. Saints often go through a period of tribulations and clearly this match was his.
And at the end of the match Chile earned a penalty. Alexis stepped up to take it. Had he scored he would become Chile’s all-time goal scorer. But Santa Alexis showed his humility and intentionally took a terrible penalty. Thus saving Venezuela from a humbling score line and his own record for their next qualifier in August against Paraguay.
When asked for comment on Alexis’ stunning match, a salty Wenger told reporters to find out how many sprints he had done and look at how many turnovers he had. Alexis couldn’t be reached for comment, he was busy ascending to heaven on a white horse, with a trail of several thousand dogs behind him.
Rarely do we humans get to witness miracles and yet here is video proof: