Granit Xhaka responds to Arsenal legends’ criticism

Granit Xhaka has his say on criticism of the Arsenal captain after Sunday's north London derby

Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Granit Xhaka has responded to criticism by Arsenal legends after his performance in Sunday’s north London derby.

The Switzerland international conceded a 40th-minute penalty at The Emirates after the Arsenal captain committed a rash challenge on Tottenham striker Son Heung-min.

Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot to double Tottenham’s lead after Bernd Leno’s mistake had earlier given Christian Eriksen the chance to break the deadlock.

However, Arsenal rescued a point courtesy of goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of half-time in the north London derby.

Xhaka was roundly criticised on Sky Sports by Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Jose Mourinho and Graeme Souness for the penalty incident.

Arsenal legends Ian Wright and Paul Merson were also critical of Xhaka following his hotheaded moment in the derby clash.

But Xhaka has responded to his critics by pointing out that other players made bigger mistakes than the Swiss star in the 2-2 draw.

“Of course, critics are always there,” Xhaka is quoted as saying by Metro.

“In the London derby, I think we had a good game, I made a mistake with the penalty, yeah, but if you see the game we could have won.

“We had a lot of chances, but this is football, nobody speaks about the chances, how many we missed, always they speak about mistakes. That’s a part of football.”

Xhaka moved to Arsenal in a £33m deal from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach in the 2016 summer transfer window.

Unai Emery made Xhaka the club’s captain this season after Laurent Koscielny completed a move to Bordeaux.

Arsenal have earned seven points from their opening four Premier League games to keep their title challenge on track.

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