Alexis Sanchez needs regular match action either at Manchester United or elsewhere, says Chile great Ivan Zamorano.

Sanchez left Arsenal for United in January 2018 but has struggled to find his best form at Old Trafford, starting just nine Premier League games last season and scoring once.

The 30-year-old has continued to score for Chile, though, netting twice so far at the Copa America, yet Zamorano believes the rust from his club campaign has still been evident in the wins over Japan and Ecuador.

And the former Chile star wants Sanchez, who has been linked with Juventus, to be a starter wherever he begins next term.

"What's best for [Sanchez] is to play - wherever he can, be it at Manchester United or any other team," Zamorano told Omnisport.

"The important thing is for him to be constantly competing. I talk from my experience. Sometimes when you're abroad and you're not playing, it is hard to regain the level.

"We've seen it. Alexis hasn't played in Manchester for a long time, but the second he puts on the Chilean shirt, he's different. That's what we like.

"No matter how you are doing at your team, we hope at the moment you put on the Chilean shirt you give your best, and that's what Alexis is doing.

"I'm very happy to see him regaining his level and to see him being a vital part of Chile, being a protagonist in South America again."

Sanchez was set to be assessed for an ankle injury ahead of Monday's clash against Uruguay, with Chile having already sealed their progression out of Group C.

Chile will assess the fitness of star forward Alexis Sanchez before they contest top spot in Copa America Group C against Uruguay.

Sanchez has put his Manchester United struggles behind him to net in each of La Roja's wins so far in Brazil.

However, he was already carrying an ankle knock by the time he scored decisively after 51 minutes of the 2-1 triumph over Ecuador last time out.

Should he take to the field, the 30-year-old will feature in opposition to some of this generation's finest attacking talent from South America.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez also has two goals from two outings in the competition after converting a penalty in the 2-2 draw against Japan, while Edinson Cavani netted an overhead kick in La Celeste's opening 4-0 thumping of Ecuador.

Chile beat Japan by the same scoreline, meaning only a victory can see Uruguay through as group winners – a result that would undoubtedly feel particularly sweet for Cavani, who was controversially sent-off when La Roja won an ill-tempered contest 1-0 on their way to glory in 2015.

"We know that Chile have a well-drilled game plan, we've known it for a long time. They're well oiled," Cavani told reporters.

"We know what kind of rivals Chile are."

After their last Copa meeting, Chile and Uruguay claimed a win apiece in their showdowns as part of 2018 World Cup qualification.

Uruguay ran out 3-0 winners in Montevideo in November 2015 thanks to goals from Diego Godin, Alvaro Pereira and Martin Caceres.

They were beaten a year later in Santiago as an Eduardo Vargas strike and a Sanchez double overturned Cavani's opener.

However, four defeats from the subsequent six qualifiers saw Chile miss out on Russia 2018, where Uruguay were beaten by eventual winners France in the quarter-finals.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chile – Gonzalo Jara

The experienced defender has been a substitute for each of Chile's matches in the competition so far, although Reinaldo Rueda should arguably pick him against Uruguay for nuisance value alone. Jara provoked Cavani into a red card when the sides met in 2015, retrospectively earning a ban of his own after replays showed he poked a finger up the striker's bottom. Two years earlier, Suarez was dismissed for punching his marker after Jara appeared to touch him in a different but no-less intimate area. All eyes will be on the 33-year-old if he features at any stage.

Uruguay – Jose Gimenez

Sanchez and Vargas might have enjoyed themselves in chalking up two goals apiece so far, but they are likely to have to raise their game further against Uruguay's defensive master Godin and his long-time partner Gimenez. The Atletico Madrid centre-back scored against Japan and is also a persistent threat at the other end, owing to Uruguay's prowess from dead-ball situations. Between the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Copa America nine of their 13 goals came from set-pieces, including six via corners.

Key Opta facts

- Uruguay (45) have attempted 20 shots more than Chile (25) so far in the 2019 Copa America.
- Sanchez is the only Chilean player to have netted in four Copas America. He has scored five goals against Uruguay, more than he has against any other nation.
- Suarez is only the third Uruguayan player in history to have scored in four consecutive appearances in the Copa America after Pedro Petrone (five, between 1923 and 1924) and Severino Varela (four, between 1937 and 1939).
- Against Chile, Oscar Tabarez will become the first ever manager to reach 200 games as head coach of the same national team (W98 D48 L53).

Alexis Sanchez feels a love when playing for Chile that he perhaps does not with Manchester United, according to coach Reinaldo Rueda.

Sanchez endured a miserable Premier League season, but he scored his second Copa America goal in as many games in a 2-1 win over Ecuador on Friday.

The attacker also played through an ankle injury, scoring a 51st-minute winner to move onto two Copa goals, which is more than the one he managed in 20 Premier League games in 2018-19.

Rueda feels Sanchez's struggles domestically are a reflection of United's battles, but he also believes the 30-year-old is more loved with the national team.

"He has the motivation, affection and some relationships that he has in the national team and maybe he didn't have them in Manchester," Rueda said after Chile moved into the quarter-finals.

"He arrived at a difficult, inopportune moment, perhaps in the most unbalanced United in recent years."

Chile will advance from Group C, but they must avoid defeat against Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Monday to secure top spot.

Alexis Sanchez suffered an ankle injury during Chile's win over Ecuador at the Copa America, coach Reinaldo Rueda confirmed.

Sanchez scored a 51st-minute winner to send the two-time defending champions into the quarter-finals courtesy of a 2-1 victory on Friday.

However, the star attacker is again dealing with an ankle injury, although Rueda confirmed it was not the same setback he suffered late during the season with Manchester United.

"He was evaluated in the break and the doctor determined that he could continue," Rueda told a news conference.

"It was very important what he offered. Fortunately, it was not the same ankle that was injured with Manchester United.

"Now, we have to evaluate post-match and hopefully he can be in the next game with us."

Chile can seal top spot in the group by avoiding defeat against Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

They made it two wins from two after Sanchez's second goal of the tournament, with Enner Valencia's penalty having cancelled out Jose Fuenzalida's opener.

"It was a very difficult game. We had the fortune to open the scoring quickly," Rueda said.

"Maybe we lacked more intelligence to continue … it was a very tactical game."

Alexis Sanchez scored again as Chile moved into the Copa America quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Ecuador on Friday.

Sanchez struck for the second time in as many games, his 51st-minute goal enough to see Chile onto six points and through from Group C.

Jose Fuenzalida's opener had earlier been cancelled out by an Enner Valencia penalty in an encounter that never reached any great heights in Salvador.

But Sanchez's goal put the two-time defending champions into the last eight with a game to spare in the group, with Gabriel Achilier seeing red late on for Ecuador.

Chile made the perfect start, taking an eighth-minute lead through Fuenzalida.

A corner was only partly cleared by Ecuador and Fuenzalida smashed a loose ball in off the inside of the post for his fifth international goal.

Chile were the dominant side early, but they were pegged back against the run of play in the 26th minute.

Jhegson Mendez was brought down by goalkeeper Gabriel Arias after getting on the end of a pass and Valencia converted down the middle to take his tally of international goals to 29.

Chile were increasingly direct as the half went on as both teams struggled to impact in the attacking third, while fouls saw the game robbed of rhythm.

However, Chile restored their lead early in the second half thanks to Sanchez.

Charles Aranguiz created space for a cross from the right and Sanchez, unmarked at the back post, side-footed his effort into the corner.

Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez was called into action in the 64th minute, doing well to push away an Erick Pulgar header from a corner.

Chile managed to control the remainder of the contest and Ecuador's Achilier was sent off in the 89th minute for elbowing Arturo Vidal.

What does it mean? Chile well-placed again

They are yet to hit top form at the Copa America, but Chile are well-placed for another run at the title after two wins from two. Chile are on track to finish top, which would hand them a quarter-final against a third-placed team.

Sanchez strikes again

The attacker endured a miserable season with Manchester United and his two Copa America goals already better the one he managed in 20 Premier League games in 2018-19. Sanchez has impressed in glimpses at the tournament so far, but he is at least recapturing some goalscoring form.

Aranguiz the unsung hero for Chile

With all eyes on Sanchez and Vidal, Aranguiz has made the most of having less attention on him so far. The Bayer Leverkusen is already up to three assists at the Copa America, including setting up both of Sanchez's goals.

What's next?

Chile can secure top spot in the group by avoiding defeat against Uruguay in a blockbuster clash in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, while Ecuador meet Japan.

Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda believes Alexis Sanchez is on the "right track" after the attacker scored in a 4-0 win over Japan on Monday.

Sanchez scored for the first time since January in the two-time defending Copa America champions' victory in Sao Paulo.

The Manchester United attacker was sidelined late during the Premier League season with a knee injury, but was on the scoresheet in his first appearance since early May.

Rueda was pleased with what he saw from Sanchez, who netted just twice in 27 games for United in 2018-19.

"He's on the right track. We wanted to reserve him for the next games, but he's recovered well," he told a news conference.

Chile started their title defence in style as Eduardo Vargas netted a brace to go with goals from Erick Pulgar and Sanchez.

Rueda was happy with his team, who moved top of Group C ahead of Uruguay.

"Chile have very experienced players, they know each other very well, with a base of many years," he said.

"The current champions usually make a bad debut, but we worked hard not to suffer with that."

Arturo Vidal felt Alexis Sanchez needed his goal for Chile against Japan after a "difficult" season with Manchester United.

Sanchez scored his first goal since January as the two-time defending Copa America champions beat Japan 4-0 in Sao Paulo on Monday.

The Manchester United attacker headed in a cross from Charles Aranguiz in the 82nd minute before setting up Eduardo Vargas a minute later.

Vidal said the goal was just what Sanchez, who netted twice in 27 games for United in 2018-19, needed.

"Alexis needed the goal. He had a difficult year and this gives him confidence," the midfielder said.

The late goals wrapped up Chile's win after Erick Pulgar's first-half header and Vargas' deflected strike in the 54th minute.

Vidal, whose team face Ecuador in Group C on Friday, urged Chile to continue improving.

"We must focus from now on that game," he said.

"We know that if we keep improving we can be a very dangerous team."

Chile's bid for a third straight Copa America title started with a 4-0 win over guests Japan in Sao Paulo on Monday.

Eduardo Vargas scored a second-half brace to go with goals from Erick Pulgar and Alexis Sanchez as the two-time defending champions claimed a comfortable win in Group C.

Japan, who have taken a youthful squad to the tournament, had their chances but lacked a cutting edge.

Pulgar's header and Vargas' deflected strike set up the win, before the latter scored again after Sanchez's effort as Chile joined Uruguay on three points in the group.

Japan made the better start with Takefusa Kubo, signed by Real Madrid last week, central to their energetic opening.

Kubo curled a free-kick over in the seventh minute, before Naomichi Ueda headed a corner straight at Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias soon after.

Chile grew into the encounter as Sanchez fired two attempts off target just after the half-hour mark.

They would be rewarded for their period of dominance with the opener, Pulgar heading in a Charles Aranguiz corner in the 41st minute.

Japan almost responded immediately, but Ayase Ueda scuffed a shot wide from an angle after rounding Arias, while Sanchez headed a cross straight at Keisuke Osako at the other end on the stroke of half-time.

Chile doubled their lead nine minutes into the second half through Vargas, whose strike from the edge of the area took a deflection and went in after a Mauricio Isla cutback for his 37th international goal.

Again, Ayase Ueda squandered a chance to respond, firing wide at the back post after a cross from Gaku Shibasaki.

Kubo also had an opportunity after the hour-mark, bursting into the box before shooting into the side-netting from a slight angle as Japan looked for a way back into the game.

Instead, Chile sealed their win in the closing stages through goals from Sanchez and Vargas.

Sanchez headed in a cross from Aranguiz before playing in Vargas, who lobbed Osako after the goalkeeper's rash decision to rush out.

 

What does it mean? Winning start but work to do for Chile

Taking three points was the key for Reinaldo Rueda's men, but there is plenty of room for improvement. They started the encounter scrappily before building into it, which they will hope is a sign of things to come.

Vargas goes past Salas

Vargas has consistently delivered for Chile and his goals were his 37th and 38th at international level. He went past Marcelo Salas and into second on the nation's goalscoring list, moving within four of Sanchez (42).

Kubo shows glimpses for Japan

Most of Japan's good moments came thanks to Kubo, who signed a six-year deal with Madrid last week. He almost set up Ayase Ueda after a nutmeg down the left in the first half and his excellent touch and left foot showed why he has been described as the 'Japanese Lionel Messi', although he squandered a good chance in the second half.

What's next?

Chile's campaign continues against Ecuador on Friday, while Japan take on Uruguay on Thursday.

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not completely convinced Alexis Sanchez will rediscover his best form but remains hopeful.

Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford from Arsenal last January in a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way.

While the Armenia international has steadily carved out a niche for himself in London, impressing in particular over the last six weeks, Sanchez has been a significant flop at United.

The Chilean has scored just seven goals in all competitions and very rarely resembled the player he was when at his best in an Arsenal or Barcelona jersey.

A knee injury forced his withdrawal against Southampton, a match in which United improved and went on to win after his substitution, but Solskjaer retains hope he can get through his difficult start to life at Old Trafford when he returns to action next month.

"I hope so," Solskjaer told reporters when asked if Sanchez can get back to his best.

"You can never be 100 per cent sure, but Alexis is such a determined lad, he loves football and is doing everything he can to get back and show his best side.

"He's coming back on Sunday. He's not been on grass yet [since his injury], he's been seeing his people in Barcelona.

"He's still a few weeks away, so if we get to about Everton, [Manchester] City, Chelsea [matches], that period, he'll probably be available."

Sanchez is just one of a host of United players to have suffered with injuries of late.

Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera have been back in training following their respective issues, but Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Wolves.

"He [Lukaku] has had a sore foot this week," Solskjaer revealed. "He's being assessed, so hopefully he'll get through [training] today [Friday].

"Phil Jones is back, there have been so many players out. Anthony [Martial] is back, Ander [Herrera] has been training, Jesse [Lingard] has been training, so we've got a decision to make [on Saturday] about who's match-fit."

Alexis Sanchez faces up to two months on the sidelines according to Chile national team doctor Pedro Onate, who analysed the knee injury the forward sustained in Manchester United's win over Southampton.

Sanchez was replaced after 52 minutes of the 3-2 victory at Old Trafford following a challenge from Saints defender Jan Bednarek and United's own medical staff have yet to provide a prognosis.

But Onate said that exams of Sanchez's condition showed he had suffered distention of the medial ligament, which would take a number of weeks to heal.

Onate told El Mercurio: "There won't be any problems for him to be at the Copa [America], because he'll be out for between six and eight weeks.

"Alexis may even play again before that time. Plus, there's a long way to go until the Copa America.

"The distention of the medial ligament is an annoying injury, but it's not so complex."

United will be without Sanchez as they travel to Paris Saint-Germain for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday, where they hope to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

Sanchez has made just eight Premier League starts for the club in 2018-19, scoring once.

Alexis Sanchez still has many years left at the highest level and just needs goals to increase his confidence, Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists.

The Chile international has struggled badly to hit top form since his move from Arsenal last January, while injuries have limited his opportunities for regular runs in the starting line-up.

Sanchez came off the bench for the injured Jesse Lingard against Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but again failed to impress as his side suffered a 2-0 defeat, after which Solskjaer suggested he could do nothing to help the forward out of his malaise.

With Lingard and Anthony Martial facing up to three weeks out, Sanchez could well be involved in Monday's FA Cup clash with Chelsea and next Sunday's Premier League showdown with Liverpool.

And Solskjaer insists the 30-year-old can still forge an impressive career at United, suggesting all he needs is a boost in self-belief.

"I think he's a very good player," he said. "He's very talented, but of course there's only so many things you can sit down and talk about and tweak.

"You saw against Fulham, when he gets his chance, he is so sharp in and around the ball, he wins the ball, his energy... if he could just get that goal, I'm sure that would release his confidence.

"That's what it's about when you go through periods when you don't perform up to your standard, because we know there is a very, very good player there. It's one of those things. You have that bottle of ketchup when it never comes, but when it suddenly comes, there's loads!

"He's still a young boy. He's a man of 30, but he can still play for many, many years. He's been here for a year; I've been here for two months with him and he's been injured for the first part of it, so it's unfair to just expect him to be at the top straight away. I'm sure we'll see the best of him before the end of the season."

United won 10 of their first 11 games under Solskjaer before the somewhat chastening defeat to PSG, a result that leaves the FA Cup as their most realistic hope of ending the season with a trophy.

Solskjaer hopes for a response at Stamford Bridge after admitting that some of his squad had their pride hurt by the loss to the Ligue 1 champions.

"I'm not going to say it's the last chance [for silverware] because we are going to go to Paris and give it a go [in the second leg]," he said. "But the chances of going through there are slimmer than before the game.

"Everyone loves to play an FA Cup final. It's one of the best memories I've got, playing at Wembley when we beat Newcastle United [in 1999].

"We need every player to perform to the best level. We are challenging to be top four, challenging against very, very good teams, so you need the players to step up now and you expect that at Manchester United at the end of the season. You always do well towards the end of the season.

"The players have had this little setback with the PSG game, maybe a reality check. There are quite a few heads there [where] their pride has been hurt. I'm sure they'll bounce back on Monday."

United beat Arsenal 3-1 away in the last round, a game in which Sanchez scored the opening goal and Romelu Lukaku, another forward struggling for form, earned two assists.

Solskjaer is looking for a similar impact against Chelsea if Lukaku is handed another chance to impress.

"Rom is a quick player and has physical presence, but we decided on Juan [Mata] and Alexis at half-time [against PSG]," he said. "But Rom gives us something else from Jesse and Anthony, so don't worry.

"He's made an impact before and he did really well with Alexis in the FA Cup in the last round, so let's see."

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez admitted he is "worried" having failed to bring more joy to the Premier League club and their fans.

Sanchez has struggled for form and fitness since arriving from rivals Arsenal in January last year, with the 30-year-old scoring just five goals as a United player.

United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he cannot help Sanchez after the former Barcelona star's disappointing performance in Tuesday's 2-0 first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

And ahead of Monday's FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Chelsea, Sanchez said he is determined to showcase his best at Old Trafford.

"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 told the BBC.

"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.

"I would like to have brought more joy to the club. Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it."

"I don't know how people see me, but football is what I've loved from being a kid and it's my passion," Sanchez added.

Sanchez also confirmed that he was injured after an assistant referee ran into him while warming up during United's Champions League fixture against Ligue 1 holders PSG.

The Chile international underwhelmed after replacing injured team-mate Jesse Lingard on the stroke of half-time.

"The referee's assistant, when we had a counter-attack, came flying down the line, and I had my foot there and he crashed into me. Bang," Sanchez said.

"And I went back to the dugout and I said to [reserve goalkeeper] Sergio Romero: 'I've just been whacked and I'm about to go on'. I've got bruising but that's not an excuse for not being on my game in the way that I normally am."

Romelu Lukaku showed his psychic abilities by predicting that Manchester United team-mate Alexis Sanchez would score against Arsenal in Friday's FA Cup showdown.

Sanchez broke the deadlock in a 3-1 win over his former club, with Lukaku having played a key role in the Chilean's goal.

And the Belgium international insisted he saw it coming.

"I told him in training, 'Listen, you're going to score'," Lukaku told MUTV.

"I said to him I'd give him the ball as long as he ran inside if I couldn't shoot. I said to him, 'Just run in and I'll find you'. 

"I think you could see when I got the ball I was looking for him and he made the right run and the finish for him was incredible.

"We knew they would leave space for me and Alexis with the full-backs pushing on, so it would end up being 3 v 3 or 3 v 2 and we had a lot of moments when we could have countered better, especially in the second half.

"I think we could have scored two or three more goals to be honest, but 3-1 at Arsenal is very good."

The result saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer extend his remarkable run at the helm to eight consecutive victories and Lukaku urged his team-mates to maintain those high standards.

"We feel great but it's the same in training," he said.

"We play a lot of games in a lot of competitions and every time you come into the games you know the situations and you have to keep on maintaining the pressure on the other team and keep on delivering the quality, that's what it's about, and on the counter-attack we're really dangerous.

"We're growing steadily and winning games, which is the most important thing."

Next up for United is the visit of Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday. 

Alexis Sanchez scored on his return to Arsenal in a 3-1 victory for Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is expecting Alexis Sanchez to produce his best once again in 2019 after a difficult first year at Old Trafford.

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