Struggling Alexis Sanchez ‘psychologically and emotionally exhausted’

Alexis Sanchez was able to take a break from the hectic nature of the Premier League by training with Chile this week. (Reuters)
Updated 23 March 2018
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Struggling Alexis Sanchez ‘psychologically and emotionally exhausted’

LONDON: Alexis Sanchez has admitted to being mentally exhausted after a rough start to his career at Manchester United.
“I know you are tired. I know you are psychologically and emotionally exhausted. But you have to smile and continue,” Sanchez posted in Spanish on Instagram below a photo that showed him with a huge grin as he trained with Chile in Stockholm ahead of friendly with Sweden on Saturday.
Sanchez told reporters earlier in the week he had initially asked to skip friendlies with Sweden and Denmark on Tuesday before reversing his decision.
The 29-year-old joined United from Arsenal in January on a reported salary of £500,000 ($695,000) a week to become the top paid player in Premier League history.
He became one of the fall guys as United were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla last 16 last week and was dropped by United manager Jose Mourinho for an FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton four days later.
Sanchez has scored just once in his first 10 games for United.
“It was a bit rough for me because it’s the first time I’ve changed a team in January,” said Sanchez, who added he had “expected something better” from himself during his first months under Mourinho.
Chile have not qualified for the World Cup in Russia, so Sanchez should get a prolonged summer break for the first time in five years.
Sanchez was a key member of the Chile team that won the Copa America back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, as well as the side that reached the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup final.


Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

The gunners could not defeat 10-man Atletico Madrid. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

  • The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
  • Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.

And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.