Gary Neville Blames Granit Xhaka’s Clash With Trent Alexander Arnold For Arsenal’s Draw

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Gary Neville hit out at Granit Xhaka of Arsenal after he clashed with Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander Arnold during their match on Sunday, 9th of April, 2023.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville observed that Arnold’s reaction to the tension with Xhaka seemed to be a catalyst for Liverpool’s late outbreak in the final minutes of the first half.

The Arsenal player lashed out at the 24-year-old Reds midfielder after he was fouled on the left side of the iconic Merseyside pitch.

Alexander-Arnold faced off against the Swiss 30-year-old, who appeared to be playing in midfield instead of a traditional defensive role.

Xhaka appeared to make unnecessary contact with Liverpool fullback Alexander-Arnold when Arsenal was leading 2-0 at Anfield.

In the ensuing minute, Mohamed Salah scored a goal for the home team.

Gary Neville, a Sky Sports pundit was annoyed by Granit Xhaka’s reaction which he believed aroused a sleeping Anfield to life.

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Gary Neville said: “I mean what is he thinking though, Xhaka? Two nil up away at Anfield, throwing his arm or something into Arnold. Just ridiculous. Trent reacts and the crowd gets up, the ball’s already gone. It’s two nil, moments before halftime”.

“He cannot get involved. He’s been so good for Arsenal this season. That’s exactly what Liverpool would want”.

“When this crowd is sleeping, don’t wake them up, leave them be, Xhaka woke the crowd up”, Neville added.

Liverpool vs Arsenal match in brief;

Arsenal bottled their two goals lead at the Anfield Stadium with a late equalizer from Firmino after Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus had put the Gunners up in the first 28 minutes.

Gary Neville

Liverpool were given a glimmer of hope by Mohamed Salah just before halftime, but Salah’s penalty miss in the second half appeared to give Arsenal the victory they needed to reclaim an eight-point advantage in the Premier League table.

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Yet with three minutes remaining, Arsenal’s nemesis Firmino tied the game with a header, giving Liverpool a point. This was Firmino’s 11th goal against Arsenal in the Premier League.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made two incredible saves to deny Mohamed Salah and Ibrahima Konate late winners as the Gunners clung to their first point at Anfield in seven seasons. This result could prove crucial for Arsenal’s title hopes.

After Mo Salah missed a penalty early in the second half, Roberto Firmino headed in an equalizer with three minutes left in regulation time, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal are still the Premier League leaders, as they are currently six points ahead of second-place Manchester City.

However, the sight of their seven-game winning streak coming to an end has only emboldened champions Manchester City, who have played a game fewer than Arsenal and will host the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium on April 26.

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However, the former Manchester United full-back Neville also sent a message to Alexander-Arnold after the burst up.

Gary Neville

He said: ”He’s got to be careful, Trent Alexander-Arnold because he is fired up. To be fair though, it’s the most aggressive I’ve seen him in five years. Maybe he should get kicked a little bit more”.

What’s next for Arsenal?

The Gunners will be getting ready to be in another action on Sunday, 16th of April, 2023, in a crucial match against West Ham United who are relegation threatened.

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