Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Xhaka: Arsenal still on course for ´special´ season despite Liverpool humbling

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Aug 2019


Granit Xhaka remains adamant Arsenal are headed in the right direction in spite of their setback at Liverpool on Saturday.

The Gunners’ winning start to 2019-20 came to a disappointing end as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a clinical 3-1 victory for Liverpool at Anfield.

David Luiz played a forgettable role in both Salah goals, conceding a penalty after tugging the forward’s shirt in the box shortly after half-time and then failing to halt his progress en route to a quickfire second.

The result might have been different had Nicolas Pepe, making his first Premier League start, converted a one-on-one opportunity in the first half.

Unai Emery selected the Ivory Coast international alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a dynamic front pairing and midfielder Xhaka insists Arsenal have the requisite quality to bounce back.

“We have very good players, not only these two, all over the team,” Xhaka told his club’s website.

“We can do something special this season, but we have to work a lot to improve things.”

He added: “We had a few chances in the first half to score one or two goals. If we’d have done that, it would have been a different game.

“We can speak a lot but we lost the game.

“We didn’t have a bad game in my opinion because we defended well and Liverpool didn’t have a lot of chances. We had shots as well but they’re a good team. Let’s look forward.”

Next up for Arsenal is the north London derby at home to Tottenham next Sunday.

Emery’s side took four points from their Premier League meetings last term, winning the first encounter 4-2 at Emirates Stadium.

“We have nothing to take from [the Liverpool] game or other games because it’s a derby and we know how important it is for the fans, the club and for us,” Xhaka said.

“We have shown in the last few years that we can have very good games against them.

“Let’s start getting ready this week so we’re ready to play against Spurs.”



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