Xhaka: I was brutally surprised by red card against Man City
The 28-year-old midfielder was sent off for a dangerous foul on Joao Cancelo but he says he has made worse challenges in the Premier League
Granit Xhaka says he was “brutally surprised” when he was sent off in the first half of Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City.
Xhaka was shown red for a two-footed challenge on Joao Cancelo 10 minutes before half-time while his side were trailing 2-0.
The midfielder was heavily criticised for the challenge, which saw a bad period for his team get even worse as City went on to score again minutes later and struck twice in the second half to win 5-0.
What has been said?
But Xhaka insists he should not have been sent off for the tackle, insisting English football is famous for harsh tackles.
“After such a false start, you get criticised. That is normal and part of it. Every player has to accept that,” he said to Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA.
“Regarding the red card: brutally surprising! In connection with the Premier League, people often speak about English toughness.
“I got the ball 100 per cent and got a red card. The pictures were not checked by the VAR. I’ve seen tougher tackles that weren’t even rated as fouls.
“Do I get prejudged? I don’t know – I don’t even want to judge that. I won’t let myself be driven crazy about it. I can’t undo anything anyway. All I can do is look ahead.”
Xhaka happy at Arsenal despite rough start
Xhaka looked set to leave the Gunners during the summer, but instead signed a contract extension with the club, which was announced by owner Stan Kroenke in August.
The 28-year-old says he is happy to stay in north London despite reports he was close to joining Roma during the transfer window.
“I returned to the club from vacation in excellent shape. The renewal of the contract gave me another push,” he said.
“I consider myself happy with it – besides, I am healthy, which is the most important thing in the end.”
What next for Arsenal?
Mikel Arteta’s team are bottom of the table with three defeats.
After the international fixtures, Arsenal will hope to pick up their first Premier League points of the season when they host Norwich on September 11.
A week later they will visit Burnley.