Football: Granit Xhaka shines at Arsenal, Manchester City rolls out


SoccerGranit Xhaka shines at Arsenal, Manchester City rolls out

As a goalscorer and decisive passer, the captain of the Swiss team was decisive for the Gunners’ victory against Leicester (4:2). The defending champions defeated Bournemouth (4-0).

Granit Xhaka is off to a great start to the season with Arsenal.


English champions Manchester City quickly quenched the tension, beating Bournemouth (4-0), while Arsenal clearly dominated Leicester (4-2) on Saturday’s second day of the Championship over England. The two clubs, who have two wins in two games, share the lead with City having the best goal difference (+6).

Since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2016, the Citizens have usually had to wait until the autumn to reach their best level. In terms of results, Manchester City are already dominating the championship with 2 wins, 6 goals scored and zero goals conceded. Against Bournemouth the first half hour was stunning with a number of chances from the start (Dias, Aké, Foden). Watched very closely, Erling Haaland was hardly found by his partners until the start and his first template for Gündogan (19th). De Bruyne (31st) and then Foden (37th) quickly ended the tension. A Jefferson Lerma own goal added to the score late in the game.

Arsenal gain confidence

The other prolific attack is Arsenal’s, benefiting from the recruitment of former Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian, already in sight on the Crystal Palace floor (2-0) eight days ago, opened his counterattack with the Gunners thanks to a brace that allowed Arsenal to take Leicester (4-2) on top. Set up in a 4-2-3-1, just like in the first game, Gabriel Jesus had a small hit on his two goals, the first (23rd) was a shot slightly deviated from its trajectory, the second (35th) ) resulted in a corner also deflected by Vardy.

An own goal by Saliba (53′, 2-1) revived the foxes, but Granit Xhaka (55′, 3-1) used a free ball from the opposing goalkeeper, then Martinelli (75′, 4-2) with just one minute left each time Maddison’s score was reduced again, limiting the suspense.

The Swiss midfielder put in a great performance: in addition to his goal, he is also credited with an assist in the opener from Jesus. And on the previous action, he got very close to the Brazilian when his header hit the Ramsdale right post.

Arsenal join Manchester City at the top of the table and will definitely be in the top three by the end of this weekend. Mikel Arteta’s formation will have an opportunity to consolidate this good start to the season with three next very affordable opponents (Bournemouth, Fulham, Aston Villa).

Manchester United sinks

Strongly corrected at Brentford (0:4), Manchester United is in the undignified last place. That trip should allow the Red Devils to settle down after a tumultuous start to the Championship against Brighton (1-2). On the contrary, it turned into a real nightmare, with four goals conceded in the first 35 minutes – the most since one day in May 1990 at Nottingham Forest!

And already the new coach Erik Ten Hag is being tossed: Cristiano Ronaldo’s tenure has not been able to hide the immense deficits of the Mancunians, and their reaction has remained very hesitant. Goalkeeper David de Gea bears a large share of the blame as he is directly at fault for three of the four goals. Perhaps blinded by the setting sun at the end of the afternoon on a crushed Joshua Da Silva strike, the Spaniard slipped the ball between his gloves (10′, 1-0). He then tried an incredible chase to catch Eriksen in his own penalty area while the Dane was surrounded by two opponents, including Mathias Jensen (18′, 1-0). He finally failed to take off with a balloon in his 6 yards, which Ben Mee took advantage of (30′, 3-0)… And five minutes later it was the entire Mancunian defense absent a lightning fast counterattack by Bryan Mbeumo (35′, 4-0). Ten Hag changed half his backline at half time!

In the end, the Red Devils sank into the same abysses as at the famous Liverpool reception on October 24, 2021 (0: 5). Reinforcements are more urgent than ever, especially in midfield.

First for Mbabu with Fulham

In the afternoon, Aston beat Villa and put Everton in doubt a little more (2-1). A more worrying result than losing 1-0 at home to Chelsea in the Premier League opener, as Frank Lampard’s players lacked the ability to react against a formation that had been left to calm themselves after losing 0-0 to newly promoted Bournemouth. 2).

Guided by a Danny Ings goal after half an hour of play, Everton Blues were unable even to control the ball or territorially dominate their opponents and logically looked down on the result at the end of the game (Emiliano Buendia, 85. ), before an own goal by Lucas Digne gave little hope. Must win for Lampard next Saturday against promoted Nottingham Forest.

Meanwhile, newly promoted Fulham recorded a second draw. After Liverpool last week (2-2), the Cottagers shared the points with Wolverhampton (0-0) this time. Kevin Mbabu stayed on the bench on Matchday 1 and made his first appearance in a Fulham shirt. The Genevans were entitled to a handful of seconds at the end of the game. The duel between Brighton and Fabian Schärs Newcastle resulted in the same goalless draw, while Southampton and Leeds were also undecided (2-2).

(AFP/Sports Center)

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