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Former Ireland international tries to explain “stupid” Granit Xhaka tackle

Granit Xhaka red cards

He was given a straight red card on Thursday night.

Former Ireland international Andy Townsend has tried to explain the “stupid” tackle made by Granit Xhaka against Liverpool.

Xhaka received a straight red card for a wild challenge on Diogo Jota, while he was the last man, and the ball was dropping to Jota’s chest.

The tackle was so reckless, that even if it happened further up the pitch, Xhaka would have been in some serious trouble.

Despite the Swiss midfielder’s protests, he was sent for an early bath, while Arsenal were left to try and defend with 10 men for over an hour.

Impressively, Mikel Arteta’s men managed to do just that, and thanks to a terrible miss from Takumi Minamino with just minutes left on the clock.

Arsenal have left themselves with a great chance of qualifying for the final with this 0-0 draw, with the semi-final to be played next week.

Granit Xhaka red card

Andy Townsend on Granit Xhaka

Towsend weighed in on Xhaka’s tackle the morning after the game, and made an attempt to explain why he made the decision he did.

He said: “Xhaka always panics because he hasn’t got the legs. Let Jota take the ball! If he scores, he scores. Take it on the chin.

“But do not throw a leg into the player’s chest and ask the question!

“Fundamentally, he gets exposed when he is in that deep-lying position. He will always lunge and commit. Stay on your feet. Jota is on the edge of the box.

“There was someone there who could’ve dealt with it. Anything can happen. Now, all of a sudden, after 25 minutes they’re down to ten men.”

Granit Xhaka red card

This red card means Arsenal will be without Xhaka for the North London Derby on Sunday, while fellow midfielders Thomas Partey and Mohamed El-Neny are already away on AFCON duty.

While it definitely leaves Arsenal short, you would have to wonder if they will truly miss Xhaka, given how unreliable he can be.

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