Supporters of Arsenal have taken to Twitter in their numbers this evening to sing the praises of Granit Xhaka, after the Swiss midfielder’s ‘questionable’ early challenge on Alexis Sanchez.
Manchester United and Arsenal are currently locked in action at Old Trafford, in Arsene Wenger’s final appearance at the home of the Red Devils as Arsenal manager.
There was a touching moment ahead of kick-off, when Sir Alex Ferguson surprised Wenger with an award of excellence for his services over the last 22 years, with Jose Mourinho having also embraced the soon-to-be former Gunners’ boss on the sideline before the start of the match.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 29, 2018
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 29, 2018
The opening quarter of an hour at Old Trafford this evening saw Arsenal’s inexperienced starting XI hold their own, with the young Gunners even looking dangerous on the break on occasion.
And, though hosts United have since taken the lead through Paul Pogba, there was a major moment for fans of the North Londoners to enjoy with just a couple of minute on the clock, involving Granit Xhaka and Alexis Sanchez.
With Sanchez facing off against his former Gunners’ teammates for the first time since departing for Old Trafford in January in slightly acrimonious circumstances, Xhaka clearly decided ahead of kick-off that he would welcome the Chilean to this evening’s proceedings with a strong challenge.
And with just 3 minutes on the clock, that is precisely what the Arsenal captain for the day did, stamping down hard and late on the foot of Sanchez after the latter had moved the ball on.
The Gunners’ faithful were unsurprisingly delighted with Xhaka’s actions, with the best of the social media reaction below:
3. Alexis Sanchez gets an early greeting from Granit Xhaka.
🔴 0-0 🔵
— ArsenalFanTV (@ArsenalFanTV) April 29, 2018
2 mins in and Xhaka leaves one on Sanchez. Captain material there.
— Gooner Graham (@GrahamJSamuels) April 29, 2018
Xhaka giving Sanchez the ol “f**k you” with that tackle #MUFCvAFC
— Rockstar★Gunner (@Mr_Rock_Star) April 29, 2018
In his first start as captain Xhaka studs Sanchez within four mins, at old Trafford. What a fucking hero
— Cale Dooper. (@GhostalPostal) April 29, 2018
LOOOOOL XHAKA STAMPING ON SANCHEZ’S FOOT MY DRUG
— zach (@KosforConcern) April 29, 2018
One for the fans from Xhaka on Sanchez 👌🏻
— Matt Newman (@MattNewman93) April 29, 2018
Xhaka going in on Sanchez 😅
— Liam Mervyn🎩 (@thierrytactics) April 29, 2018
I enjoyed that tackle from Xhaka on Sanchez #MUNARS
— ™✗ Kyng_Yvad_AFC✗™ (@MrYvad_Capp) April 29, 2018
Xhaka absolutely destroying Sanchez yes I am here for this
— jack (@j_manna7) April 29, 2018
Xhaka with a stamp on Sanchez. Wear a hero
— Allan AFC (@iTalkSoccer1) April 29, 2018