Alexis Sanchez out to prove he can still cut it at the top

Sanchez has been a huge flop since moving from Arsenal to Manchester United. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2019
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Alexis Sanchez out to prove he can still cut it at the top

MANCHESTER: Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez is concerned people may not have seen his best at Old Trafford as he continues to fight for an extended run of playing time this season.
The Chile international is a shadow of the player he was at Arsenal, having scored just five goals in 37 appearances since moving to United in January 2018.
“I would like to have brought more joy to the club,” Sanchez said. “Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it.”
After struggling for form and fitness under former manager Jose Mourinho, Sanchez has fallen further down the pecking order under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“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,” Sanchez said.
The 30-year-old is behind Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial in contention for first-team spots and did his chances no good with an underwhelming display as a substitute in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat by Paris Saint-Germain.
Sanchez, however, confirmed he was injured after an assistant referee ran into him as he warmed up on the sidelines.
“I’ve got bruising, but that’s not an excuse for not being on my game in the way that I normally am,” he said.
“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.”


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).