Alexis Sanchez has confirmed speculation he was injured after colliding with an assistant referee while warming up for Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat against PSG on Tuesday.
Sanchez, 30, was introduced late on in the first-half for the injured Jesse Lingard but was largely criticised for producing a less than convincing performance at Old Trafford.
What were the Sanchez injury rumours? Five key things to know…
- Man Utd contested in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash with PSG on Tuesday.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men looked the more threatening in the first-half but were forced to make changes due to injury.
- Sanchez replaced Lingard and Mata replaced Anthony Martial with the score 0-0 at half-time.
- United were lacklustre in the second-half and PSG scored two away goals to put the tie in their favour.
- Sanchez was berated for his performance but has since confirmed rumours he was injured after an assistant referee ran into him.
Since relocating to the north west, the Chilean has not been able to replicate the scintillating form he produced with Arsenal, scoring just five goals in 37 appearances for the Red Devils.
The match against the Parisians was just the latest in a catalogue of stinging criticism aimed towards Sanchez, but this time, the former Barcelona forward has tried to justify his lukewarm showing.
Sanchez said: “The referee’s assistant, when we had a counter-attack, came flying down the line, and I had my foot there and he crashed into me. Bang.
“And I went back to the dugout and I said to [reserve goalkeeper] Sergio Romero: ‘I’ve just been whacked and I’m about to go on’.
“I’ve got bruising but that’s not an excuse for not being on my game in the way that I normally am.”
Sanchez has started just three matches under the guidance of Solskjaer, with the Norwegian preferring to utilise Martial on the wing, and the seasoned forward has now expressed the concern he is not showcasing his worth.
He added: “He [Solskjaer] hasn’t spoken to me a great deal about what I have to do on the pitch, but I think I’m an experienced player and I think I know what I need to do and what I shouldn’t do,” said the former Barcelona player.
“I’m a player that, if I’m not in contact with the ball, I lose that spark, and sometimes I want to play in every game. You’re in, you’re out, and I’m used to playing.
“It’s not an excuse because if I go on for 10, 20 minutes, I have to perform because that’s what I’m here for, to make a difference.
“I would like to have brought more joy to the club. Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it.”
“I don’t know how people see me, but football is what I’ve loved from being a kid and it’s my passion.”
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Sanchez is “always in the gym first”
Despite coming in for heavy criticism from some sections of the United fanbase, and some pundits, with Tony Cascarino recently comparing Sanchez’s situation to that of Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, Ander Herrera has backed his teammate to fulfil his potential.
The Spaniard recently insisted that United are going to see “the best” of Alexis Sanchez in 2019, and he has remained true to his word.
Speaking about Sanchez, who is “always in the gym first”, he said: “I have big expectations for Alexis because he’s a fantastic player and he’s a fantastic professional.
“He wants to be important for the club and I’m sure he’s going to be. The only thing we can tell him is that we all believe in his qualities, we know what he has.
“We all know what he is capable of, and he’s going to do it, so you will see it soon. I think he should be very calm, because he has everything to be a top player in this club and he will be.”