The forward provided an assist and was active throughout the match to help the Gunners escape with a narrow 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace to start the season.
There was a lot of hype for the 25-year-old player coming into the match. Alexis is coming off a great showing for Chile in the World Cup, which followed a breakout season with Barcelona where he netted 19 goals and 10 assists in La Liga.
Arsenal decided to bring in the talented youngster for a reported £35 million in order to help the club contend for a league title. Manager Arsene Wenger certainly believes the player can succeed at this level, per the club's official Twitter account:
He did not take long to showcase his ability, as Alexis was extremely dynamic running down the right side of the pitch. He made a few key passes while also displaying his pace to consistently beat defenders to the ball.
The player was even asked to handle a difficult task on the defensive end, as noted by former player Rodney Marsh:
Good tactics from corner Alexis is 5"3" marking Hangeland 6"9" Not going to end well.— Rodney Marsh (@RodneyMarsh10) August 16, 2014
However, he was finally able to make a real impact on the attack just before half-time. With Arsenal trailing 1-0, Alexis took the free-kick from deep and put it in a perfect position for Laurent Koscielny to head in the equaliser:
Koscielny goal, amazing assist by Alexis https://t.co/KcQkCMiR4W— Arsenal Memes (@ArsenaIMemes) August 16, 2014
Oli Price-Bates of Metro gave a lot of credit for the assist:
What a ball and what a header Laurent Koscielny! With a header!!! Great assist by Alexis Sanchez— Oli Price-Bates (@OliPriceBates) August 16, 2014
The Gunners went into half-time with the score even at 1-1 and a lot of momentum. Unfortunately, the team could not get much going after intermission despite a lot of energy from the former Barcelona player.
With less than 20 minutes remaining in the match, the club provided a look at how active he had been:
He did end up making the difference in the closing minutes, as his cross in the 90th minute led to the game-winning goal. The ball was sent into the zone by Alexis, where it hit Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy before Aaron Ramsey tapped it in for the goal.
While Alexis will not show up on the scoresheet for the cross, his ability to put the ball in a dangerous position made a big difference. It capped an impressive debut for the Chilean star, as he was all over the pitch throughout the 90 minutes.
Squawka Football noted his ability to set up opportunities for teammates:
Alexis Sanchez created 4 chances today, more than the entire Crystal Palace side combined (3). pic.twitter.com/p0P7vsGorc— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 16, 2014
This is just one match in a long season for Arsenal, but Sanchez has already shown a lot of the skill people were expecting when the transfer was completed.
As he gains confidence and improves his chemistry with his new teammates, this attack could become the best in the Premier League.
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