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Alexis and Alves celebrating the Chilean's first goal against Rayo / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Alexis Sánchez was one of the best players on the pitch tonight in the Barça-Rayo game. The Chilean striker broke the deadlock with Rayo with an absolutely beautiful goal: in the 29th minute, Alexis received the ball in Rayo’s area, after beating his mark, he pinpointed a curving shot to ricochet off the woodwork and into the back of the net. A few minutes later, minute 40, he scooped up the ball on the left side of Rayo’s area and beat Cobeño with a subtle shot off the exterior of his right foot.

Besides his two goals, Alexis was very active on the pitch, first down the right side but especially down the left. The Camp Nou faithful sent him off with a standing ovation when he was substituted on the 70th minute for Adriano.

Three goals so far this season

On August 28th, the Chilean scored his first goal in an Azulgrana shirt during his first official game at the Camp Nou. He was the third scorer on the night when Barça routed Villareal 5-0. He walked off the pitch injured in his next game, however, at the Anoeta against Real Sociedad. He came back to the squad fully fit and played in Prague on November 1st, since then, little by little, he’s been making his mark on the team.

Alexis makes headlines in South America

News of Alexis’ first brace for Barça has quickly made international headlines. In Chile, the front page of emol.com titled their main story with Two goals for Alexis in his best game for Barcelona.

LaTercera.com said Sánchez was substituted and received an ovation from the Catalan fans, who were thankful to him for turing a complicated game into a rout, and Chilevisión leads with Alexis in another great night for Barça.

In Argentina the daily Olé leads with Maravillas Barcelona (a play on words with Alexis’ nickname, Niño Maravilla), while Clarín said Messi said ‘present’ in Barcelona’s win. Barça’s number 10, according to his countrymen, was fundamental along with the Chilean in Barça’s win over Rayo Vallecano.

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