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Alexis Sanchez leaves Mesut Ozil in the dark in showdown of the alienated

Both have experienced falls from grace but only one emerged with his head held high at the Emirates

A lot can change in a year in football.

A little over 12 months ago Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were combining as Arsenal’s two standout players.

Fast forward a year and both are facing the most testing times of their respective careers.

Once upon a time

Reuters
4
Once upon a time

Sanchez has been painted as a laughing stock, vilified and humiliated by both Arsenal and Man United fans.

It’s been some fall from grace for the Chilean, who was the best the Premier League had to offer in 2016/17.

But last night he left his old Gunners team-mate in the dark.

Remember him?

PA:Empics Sport
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Remember him?

Sanchez was thrown in from the start by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his selection was vindicated.

One goal won’t excuse him for his performances over the last year, but it’s a start and you wonder what healing impact Solskjaer can have given Marcus Rashford’s rejuvenation.

It was, on the other hand, a case of more questions than answers for Ozil.

Arsenal set a dangerous precedent last January when the German put pen to paper on the most lucrative contract in the club’s history.

Since then they’re finances have been reeling and Aaron Ramsey is leaving for free this summer after his wage demands fell on deaf ears.

We can see you hiding

Reuters
4
We can see you hiding

Ozil is on borrowed time now and his introduction, if anything, made Arsenal even more disjointed as United continued to carve them open on the break.

In stark contrast to Ozil’s tentative cameo, Paul Pogba was ubiquitous, a driving force for the visitors and the exact embodiment of a modern day number 10.

Not a happy bunny

Reuters
4
Not a happy bunny

For Sanchez this may be a platform, a chance at redemption under a new manager who believes in him.

For Ozil, this felt like another nail in the coffin.


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