Tue | Dec 10, 2019

Xhaka can’t! - Arsenal captain rages at fan vitriol after substitution

Published:Monday | October 28, 2019 | 12:31 AM
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka speaks to referee Martin Atkinson during their English Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London yesterday.
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka speaks to referee Martin Atkinson during their English Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka appeared to swear at his team’s own supporters after being substituted yesterday when a two-goal lead was surrendered against Crystal Palace to draw 2-2 in the English Premier League.

The decision by Unai Emery to withdraw Xhaka in the second half was initially greeted by large cheers, which soon turned to jeers as he took his time to leave the field despite the score being level.

Xhaka reacted by waving his arms, cupping his ears, and seemingly mouthing a profanity twice as he pushed away a handshake from Emery. Xhaka took off his shirt and headed straight down the tunnel.

“He’s wrong, but we are going to speak inside about that situation,” Emery told the BBC. “I want to be calm, but really, he was wrong in this action.”

It had started so well, with goals in the opening nine minutes.

Arsenal defensive duo Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz scored inside 106 seconds.

But it started to go wrong in the 32nd minute when Luka Milivojevic netted a penalty that was awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review. Palace winger Wilfried Zaha had initially been booked for diving.

“I didn’t understand the referee and VAR reaction,” Emery said. “For me, there is no confusion. It is not a good decision.”

Jordan Ayew’s fourth goal in eight games brought Palace level before further VAR drama as Sokratis was denied a late winner when the review spotted a foul by Calum Chambers moments earlier.

Yesterday’s EPL results:

Newcastle 1-1 Wolves

Arsenal 2-2 Palace

Liverpool 2-1 Spurs

Norwich 1-3 Man Utd