Alexis Sanchez vs Angel Di Maria: How did the big summer signings compare in this FA Cup tie?

A look at the most high-profile attacking players from both sides

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The Independent Online

Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez were two of the outstanding players in Arsenal's FA Cup quarter-final win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Here, Andy Hampson analyses their performances.

OVERALL CONTRIBUTION:

DI MARIA: Completely blotted his copybook with his sending off, first with his initial booking for diving and then his second for for grabbing referee Michael Oliver. Prior to that he had been one of United's most influential players.

SANCHEZ: Arguably the best player on the pitch. Did not stop working or seem to tire in defence or attack. His excellent display lacked only a goal.

MOVEMENT IN POSSESSION:

DI MARIA: Cut in from the right to cross with his left foot to great effect in the first half, not least with the superb cross for Rooney's goal. He grew as a threat running with the ball but went to ground too easily for Oliver's liking, prompting the chaos which led to his red card.

SANCHEZ: Demanded possession from the outset and made great use of it, regularly running at the defence or opening them up with probing passes. Retained possession well and hard to knock off the ball.

 

OFF-BALL WORK:

DI MARIA: Started out wide and found plenty of space to receive the ball. Was in a perfect position to collect a fine through-ball from Wayne Rooney in the first half but could not deliver the finish. Then lost his cool in second half and was sent off after a complete brainstorm.

SANCHEZ: Was always finding space to work and United struggled to keep an eye on him. Found good shooting positions and never stopped trying to win back possession when United had the ball.

PASSING:

DI MARIA: Some of his deliveries from the right were exquisite and he played plenty of good short balls too.

SANCHEZ: Had a lot of touches and often looked to play in his team-mates, although he did not always find the target.

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Angel Di Maria is shown the red card

FINISHING:

DI MARIA: Tested Wojciech Szczesny with one effort and miscued and miscued another in the first half. Could not find the openings in the second.

SANCHEZ: Had a couple of good chances deflected in the first half and almost grabbed what would have been a deserved goal with a late shot that was turned wide by United goalkeeper David De Gea.

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