Francis Coquelin said he was “screaming at Granit to shoot” in the seconds leading up to the Swiss midfielder’s excellent strike from distance against Mike Phelan’s side on Saturday.
Xhaka rifled a long-range effort into the top corner from 30+ yards out in second-half stoppage time to put gloss on a convincing Arsenal victory away against Hull on Saturday afternoon, and Coquelin was keen to praise his team-mate in the post-match media duties.
As quoted by the club’s official website, Coquelin said Xhaka’s goal was “a superb finish”, but he was unsure as to whether the 23-year-old would take the option to shoot – so he prompted him to do so, “screaming at him” in German, something he no doubt picked up during his loan in the country with SC Freiburg.
On the quality of the goal, he said: “That’s a great strike to be fair, a great first goal to score for the club and hopefully many more to come as well. I think it was Mo [Elneny] who passed him the ball so I can’t claim the assist, but I’ll take a bit of it!”
On the performance and importance of taking all three points, the Frenchman said it was a “difficult game”, but one where they were tested against a tough Hull side – even with one less player after Jake Livermore’s dismissal.
“We showed that even when a team comes back at us we have the character to finish it off. So that’s good for the future and now we can concentrate on the next games coming up.”