The 4-3 scoreline witnessed at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night pointed to the fact that this Premier League season is set to keep us on the edges of our seats. Arsenal had looked odds on for defeat at the hands of Leicester, but goals from super subs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud meant Arsenal didn’t lose its third opening day match in a row.
Swiss star, Granit Xhaka had a decent game in the middle of the park alongside Mohammed Elneny, but was at fault for Leicester’s second goal, which was scored by Jamie Vardy, a one-time Arsenal target. Usually calm on the ball, Xhaka was dispossessed of the ball, allowing Leicester to launch a devastating counter attack which ended with the ball in the back of the net.
Speaking after the game, Xhaka apologised for his shocker, as he still went on to register two assists in a show of mental strength. He said: “You see we have good players on the pitch and these players who can come off the bench. Aaron and Oli both scored, it’s important and shows that every player is ready and that’s important.
“The second goal for Leicester was my mistake but it was important that I kept working. I wasn’t nervous after the mistake – and the two assists were important for the team. I’m happy for the win.” he added.
Xhaka, who endured a not too fantastic time in his early Arsenal career became a key member of the team in the tail end of last season, after manager, Arsene Wenger changed the formation to 3-4-3. He has taken that form into the new season, as he registered statistics of 82% passing accuracy, 99 passes, 117 touches, 5 blocked shots and 2 assists, according to Opta in the match against Craig Shakespeare’s men who played extremely well at the Emirates.
Xhaka is a defensive midfielder capable of also playing as a central midfielder as he combines attributes of interceptions, tackling and impressive passing range. 23-year-old Xhaka joined Arsenal last summer in a £35m deal from Borrusia Monchengladbach but suffered from disciplinary issues in his first season with the record 13-time FA Cup winners. He made 46 appearances for the Gunners last term, scoring 4 goals and winning the FA Cup.