Jose Mourinho was always loyal to his center-ahead as Didier Drogba, Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would testify.
The manager of Manchester United has been watching lately, but the performance of Alexis Sanchez against Juventus on Wednedsay may be the start of a great relationship as Jose's # 9.
Mourinho battled against Europe's toughest defense after having played three different strikers in his last three games – which is very unusual for him.
Alexis Sanchez stepped up when he was called up against Juventus on Wednesday-evening
But with Romelu Lukaku, nine games without a goal, left in Manchester to let tender muscles rest and Marcus Rashford back on the bench, Sanchez got a new chance to start his United career as their main attacker.
It was a fascinating experiment and one that gave the Chilean many fans, even though the offensive forays of United were relatively scarce.
One of the criticisms of £ 75 million Lukaku was his lack of hold-up play and aggression against defenders.
Sanchez, the best-paid Premier League player, but one who has had a hard time since reaching Arsenal in early 2018, showed good technical skill, kept the ball and brought others into play, something that Ashley Young, Paul Pogba and Other Herrera benefited. and Anthony Martial in particular. His first touches almost always found their intended target.
Jose Mourinho gave the Chilean attacker the nod to take the lead in the Allianz Stadium
He also showed a game of intelligence by lowering the space between the rules that Leonardo Bonucci left behind with the uncomfortable decision to follow in unwanted space, or to run the South American.
And while Sanchez is not of the physical format of Drogba or Costa, he cries defenders and gets in the way of more than his rivals in Old Trafford; Rashford, Martial or Lukaku.
On one occasion, his attack on Juve goalkeeper Wojcech Szczesny forced him to throw the ball away for a pitch. If Mourinho wants to squeeze teams, Sanchez would be the ideal man to stay farthest from the field.
It was a compliment to Sanchez that Juve-captain Giorgio Chiellini was chatting to him with a challenge that made the player from the United States shudder.
United was in the rare position to be underdogs and they will have been happy with the way they kept Juventus at bay until Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of his spectacular saloons midway through the second half.
He showed game intelligence and caused problems for Leonardo Bonucci on Wednesday
Sanchez (left) hit Juve's players and came more into their faces than his strike partners
What will have pleased Mourinho is that Sanchez remained disciplined and held his position as the focal point of the attack, even when United did not have the ball. He resisted the temptation to hunt like a chicken without a head.
For Sanchez he may have a legitimate grumble that not enough United's midfield players have come forward enough to give Juventus a consistent threat.
Sanchez, who turns 30 next month, misses the pace after the burner to deter defenders like Juventus. He would not win a footrace with Lukaku, Martial or Rashford, so he needs teammates around him.
He is more than three years younger than Ronaldo, but could never have equaled his goal when the Portuguese superstar behind Victor Lindelof ran after him before he connected with a beautiful volley.
But in United's current predicament of trying to build gradually instead of blowing away teams, Sanchez seems to be the best option until Lukaku finds shape, condition and self-confidence.
Just as in Bournemouth, the faster Rashford came out of the bank the last 20 minutes to put Juventus under pressure, but this time it was Jesse Lingard instead of Sanchez who made it.
Romelu Lukaku, who has nine games without a goal, stayed behind in Manchester to rest his muscles
Interestingly, with both Rashford and Sanchez on the field, it was the older man who was kept central and asked Rashford to try his luck along the right flank, until Sanchez himself was withdrawn 12 minutes after the end for Marouane Fellaini.
It will not have gone unnoticed that United's next game against a team is as powerful as Juventus – Manchester City.
Mourinho will want his center forward to be mobile and bring teammates into play. And last season, Sanchez probably enjoyed his best performance in a United shirt, setting goals for Paul Pogba in a famous 3-2 derby victory at The Etihad.
The couple seems to have a natural understanding. In one attack in Turin they exchanged passes on the edge of the box that thwarted even the experienced chase of Juventus.
Mourinho will certainly be loyal to Sanchez this weekend.