Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a mixed international break, despite returning to Arsenal with a goal and two assists in just two matches.
Mkhitaryan and Armenia played a couple of UEFA Nations League matches over the break, against Gibraltar and Macedonia. The two games had extremely surprising results, for contrasting reasons.
Gibraltar defeated Armenia 1-0, their first ever away victory, and first victory home or away in competitive fixtures for over four years. Mkhitaryan captained his side for the match and must be disappointed in how they performed on the night. This was one everyone expected them to win.
The next match was against group leaders Macedonia, who hadn’t lost a match since June 2017, and even that defeat was against Spain. Therefore Armenia smashing them 4-0, with Mkhitaryan contributing to three of the goals, was a massive result.
The first assist was rather fortunate, with the Arsenal man playing a five-yard pass well outside the box for Pizzelli to smash home from range amid some very questionable goalkeeping. The second was better, with Mkhitaryan timing his run in behind the defence perfectly, before cutting back for Movsisyan to tap into an open net.
Finally, the 29-year-old scored a clever free-kick, firing his shot under the wall and giving the goalkeeper no chance. He also hit the woodwork with a good effort earlier in the match.
Overall, the Armenian captain and his team have probably got themselves back in the fans’ good books. They can’t have another performance like the one against Gibraltar if they want to achieve promotion in their final two games though.