Arsene Wenger: Granit Xhaka’s not a dirty player – as he hails team spirit after ten-man Arsenal go joint top with sixth successive Premier League win

11:52 16 October 2016

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is sent-off by match referee Jon Moss during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is sent-off by match referee Jon Moss during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger insisted red card recipient Granit Xhaka is not a ‘dirty player’ after the Swiss international was sent off for a cynical foul on Swansea City’s Modou Barrow in his own half during his team’s 3-2 victory yesterday.

However, the Frenchman said the combative midfielder would learn from the experience. He also claimed the Swans Gambia born pacy wideman Barrow ‘made a lot of it’.

In a topsy-turvy game, Theo Walcott netted a first half pair to put the Gunners in full control before Gylfi Sigurdsson’s left footed curler gave Swansea a lifeline before half time.

Mesut Ozil made it 3-1 after the interval with a technically perfect close range volley that sent the crowd into raptures – but Baston Borja’s goal and Granit Xhaka’s red card made it a nervous final 20 minutes for the Gunners.

Wenger said: “It was harsh. It was a dark yellow and the referee went for bright red.

“He has to learn from it but we will not be appealing. It was a deliberate foul.”

Praising his team’s spirit after they held on with 10 men to gain a sixth straight Premier League win which sent them joint top with Manchester City on 19 points.

He added: “It was a comfortable afternoon that finished very uncomfortably,

“I went through all the emotions because we went two nil up and then from out of nowhere it was 2-1,

“We went 3-1 up but suddenly it was 3-2. Then we were down to 10 men and you think what looked like a promising afternoon could become a nightmare.

“In the end our solidarity and our spirit got us through and over the line but in the end it was much harder than it could have been.”

“It’s good momentum and what’s good is that we win the games but in the dressing room we still think we go up another level,

“I felt that at times we played fantastic and in other situations we were too easy.

“That’s what we want to correct and we want to keep out focus. We want to keep the momentum going.”

When questioned after the game Barrow, the Swansea player fouled by Xhaka that led to the sending off


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 13:01

Arsene Wenger turned 67 on Saturday, but his team failed to give him the birthday present he coveted most – three points against Middlesbrough.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Unbeaten Archway light-middleweight Tony Milch intends to demonstrate his championship credentials when he returns to the ring at York Hall next month.

Friday, October 21, 2016

On paper at least, the Gunners face a fairly straightforward contest against a misfiring Middlesbrough side at the Emirates on Saturday. Indeed, William Hill’s 12/1 odds, posted in favour of an away win, provide a clear indication of the strength of Arsenal’s favouritism.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Islington BC’s Jerome Campbell praised his coaching team after reaching the last four of the National Development Championship with a confident display on Sunday.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Oleg Yurkevyah and Constantin Tronciu both netted hat-tricks for Niva FC as they thrashed Wounded Knee 8-0 in the Hackney & Leyton League Premier Division.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Arsenal’s first match against Bulgarian opposition was a successful one, as Arsene Wenger’s men ran out comfortable 6-0 winners on matchday three of the Uefa Champions League group stage.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Andy Maud finished second on his Metropolitan League debut to lead Highgate Harriers to victory in their opening race of the season at Claybury.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Six successive Premier League wins on the bounce mean Arsenal take on Middlesbrough on Saturday at the Emirates as joint leaders.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now