Granit Xhaka, once again, put in a superb performance for Switzerland in their 1-1 draw against Romania.
As they did against France, Romania gave Switzerland a run for their money and even went ahead first via a penalty in 18th minute, which was neatly slotted into the net by Bogdan Stancu – his second of the tournament.
By this stage Xhaka had already completed more passes than any other player on the pitch.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 15, 2016
Minutes later, after Switzerland had gone up the other end and forced a save out of goalkeeper Tatarusanu, Romanian’s Prepelita gave Gooners a heart attack when he went through the back of Xhaka and received a yellow card. Luckily, the 23-year-old is pretty sturdy, it seems.
Romania almost scored again just before the half-hour mark, proving that the Swiss were still rattled by the early goal.
In the 35th minute, a corner for the Swiss glanced off our new midfielder’s head but, unfortunately, he didn’t really threaten.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Xhaka already showed wonderful awareness, sliding the ball out right when he could have shot. It would have been a great assist. His ability to dictate play and change the tempo with a single pass is impressive.
On the other hand, moments later he picked up a yellow card for a sliding challenge, which wasn’t terrible but showed his desire to get physical (wheeey) when he sees fit.
Fortunately for Xhaka’s country, they equalised through a thunderbolt of a shot from Admir Mehmendi.
It was then Romania’s turn to be pushed onto the back foot. Switzerland now looked a lot more comfortable on and off the ball, with Xhaka providing another stunning looping, long ball across the pitch, cutting out numerous opposition players.
— Stats Zone (@StatsZone) June 15, 2016
Our new signing continued to provide pass-after-pass that demonstrated his superb vision. Another exciting match from an Arsenal perspective.
Read all about Xhaka’s previous performance against Albania here.