Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta has aired his opinion on the behavior of midfielder Granit Xhaka during their 2-2 draw at Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday,
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher and many pundits have criticized Xhaka for firing up both the Liverpool players and the crowd and have called the Switzerland international absolutely idiotic’.
But Arteta was not convinced it was that big a factor that led to Liverpool’s comeback and is reluctant to criticize the midfielder after his squabble with Trent Alexander-Arnold was credited with firing up Liverpool.
Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus fired the Gunners 2-0 up under 28 minutes, with Liverpool looking disorganized and brittle at the back.
But shortly before halftime, Xhaka was involved in a confrontation with Alexander-Arnold, trusting an elbow towards the fullback before squaring up to him.
Both players were shown a yellow card, and a previously quiet Anfield crowd suddenly ignited, with Mohamed Salah then pulling one back for the Reds moments later.
Liverpool took control of the game from that point on, missing a penalty and a host of great chances.
Asked if the Xhaka incident contributed to Liverpool’s comeback, Arteta replied: “I don’t know if that’s the case."
“We had a big chance after that." If we score 3-0, maybe the crowd doesn’t get too excited.
“But after that, they scored a goal, and that changed the momentum and the hope.”