• News

Xhaka slammed for role in ’embarrassing’ Leno error in Arsenal defeat

Granit Xhaka, Arsenal
Getty Images

The two Arsenal players were on the receiving end of some strong criticism from Graeme Souness.

Graeme Souness blasted Granit Xhaka for his role in the build-up to Bernd Leno’s own goal on Friday night.

Arsenal crashed to a 13th Premier League defeat of the season following a 1-0 loss to Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

While the pre-match protests stole the headlines, the Gunners were left fuming when a penalty decision was overturned in the second half after a VAR review ruled Nicolas Pepe as offside.

Soon after the controversial decision, disaster struck on the other end of the pitch in the form of an own goal.

Richarlison got the better of Granit Xhaka, who again played as a left-back in Kieran Tierney’s absence. He rolled the ball across the box only to see it slip through Leno’s grasp and into the back of the goal.

“Richarlison eases Xhaka off the ball too easily,” said Souness on Sky Sports.

“He makes his mind up, ‘I’m going to stand my ground and tackle and win the ball’, instead of forcing him down the line.

“Richarlison, you know who you’re playing against, he’s not silky, he’s not tricky, he’s going to try and run you, try and muscle you.

“He’s made a mistake, he’s trying to win the ball back, he should show him down the line, he’s too square on.”

On Leno’s howler, the former Liverpool and Newcastle coach said: “Yeah, it’s farcical.

“That really is a very, very poor goal to give away, an embarrassing goal to give away.”