Granit Xhaka took some responsibility for the Leicester goal today, and praised his teammates for their response to going a goal down, coming back to win 3-1.
The Swiss international wasn’t fully to blame for Youri Tielemans opener, and while he did give the ball away, he wasn’t helped by midfield partner Mohamed Elneny who failed to provide any cover.
However, David Luiz’s header, a penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, and Nicolas Pepe’s second half strike – a move in which Xhaka was involved – made it a far less costly error.
The 28 year has now called for more consistency in terms of efforts and performance levels as we head towards the closing stages of the season.
“After my mistake when we conceded the goal, I think the team went a little bit up,” he told the official website.
“We knew it would be very difficult after the Europa League game, after the travelling and everything else, to be ready for 12pm. It wasn’t easy but I think in the end we deserved to win today. We did a really, really good game after 10 minutes.
A really important three points for us. The goals were beautiful and I am so happy for the team.”
Consistency has been a major issue this season, and it’s something we’re going to have to produce if we have any chance of finishing in the European places.
“We have to do it game by game,” said Xhaka, “not for three games, not for four, we have to constantly be like this, with this energy, this team spirit and after I am looking forward to us doing something.”
Xhaka drew praise from Mikel Arteta, who has been impressed by his desire and willingness to play through the fatigue barrier.
In playing today, he overtook Bukayo Saka in terms of minutes played so far this season, and since returning from the red card against Burnley, he has played all 16 games for the Gunners.
“If you have to put an example on that pitch about character and about going for every single goal with that determination, then probably it’s him,” said Arteta.
“He’s played more minutes than anybody else but he keeps going, even when he is so tired. He tries to help the team in the right way and the same like with David.
“For someone like him, at his age, to play again quickly after the game we had to play against Benfica, it was tough.
“But they had the real attitude that they wanted to be involved, they wanted to play and that’s how they approach every game.”