The Arsenal Twittersphere is a hyper-sensitive world that fans of the London side should attempt to stay as far away from as possible after disastrous defeat. I cannot emphasize this enough. As a diehard Gunner myself, I know all too well the sequence of total devastation → false hope → collective misery that often accompanies Arsenal games. All too well (#ohtobeagooner).
This inevitably puts some players under the spotlight of scrutiny, and while Alexis Sánchez is given the benefit of the doubt 99 times out of 100 due to his unrivaled work ethic and integral role as the essence of everything we want Arsenal to be in a perfect world, even the Chilean crack has been called upon to step up in recent weeks.
But fear not, Gooners: “Alexis Sanchez Baby” has once again proved that under his leadership, a Premier League title looks more attainable than ever. On Saturday, Alexis became the first player to ever score a hat trick in the EPL, La Liga, and the Serie A after netting three in Arsenal’s 5-2 win over Leicester City. He also became only the eighth South American player to score three in EPL action (Luis Suárez, Carlos Tévez, Sergio Aguero, Maxi Rodríguez, Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Afonso Alves complete the list).
In his heroic, statue-worthy first season with the Gunners, Alexis was a top scorer, with 25 strikes in 52 total appearances despite never occupying the center forward position on a regular basis. He won us over with his infectious work rate, never-say-die attitude, sublime free kicks, constant movement on and off the ball (always with a purpose), and, of course, with his smile and the endless stream of selfies that he posts with his dogs on Instagram.
We’ve grown to expect the best of the best from the Chilean superstar, completely disregarding the fact that he was busy scoring brilliant panenka penalties to lead his country to the Copa América title this summer. “There is a lot of expectation on him because of the fee and just because of who he is,” teammate Theo Walcott told the Daily Star after the heroic performance. “But he is not fazed by anything. He doesn’t put pressure on himself. He is a very chilled, relaxed man, who always plays with a smile on his face.”
He’s back at peak performance level, and Arsène Wenger has made note of the change on the training pitch in recent pressers. What an insanely exciting prospect for the London side, one that leaves many of us desperately wishing we could line up like this every game week:
Want to see all three of Alexis’ glorious hat tricks? Here you go, fam. Enjoy.