LONDON. – Alexis Sanchez has endured a torrid start to his Manchester United career but hinted at better things to come with an impressive display in a central role ahead of the Champions League soccer match against Juventus tonight.
The injured Romelu Lukaku missed the 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday and Marcus Rashford started on the bench as Jose Mourinho opted for a three-man forward line, with Anthony Martial and Juan Mata deployed either side of Sanchez.
The former Arsenal man was instrumental in United’s first-half equaliser, setting up Martial, and will be disappointed to have been substituted towards the end of the game.
The match, won by substitute Rashford in injury time, was a rare high point for the Chile international, who has struggled to find his feet since arriving at Old Trafford in January – it was his first league start since September 22.
Following the much-needed win against Bournemouth, Mourinho praised Sanchez and spelt out his preferred system, saying he did not need a traditional centre-forward to lead his attack.
“The way I like to play is with three attacking players where there is not a clear definition of the winger as a winger,” he said, adding that he likes wide men with a striker’s appetite.
“And I always had that in my team, with the wingers scoring a lot of goals, sometimes even more goals than the striker,” he said.
Tonight’s Uefa Champions League Fixtures (all 10pm unless otherwise stated)
Valencia v Young Boys (7:55pm); CSKA Moskva v Roma (7:55pm); Juventus v Manchester United; Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens; Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid; Benfica v Ajax; Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk; Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim.