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.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).