Granit Xhaka almost scored a beaut of a goal for Switzerland only to see his curled effort tipped onto the bar by Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel, while he was also involved in a comedy free-kick routine.

granit xhaa denmark v switzerland
Granit Xhaka v Denmark

Xhaka gave up the armband of his national side as Stephan Lichtsteiner returned to the squad for their Euro qualification game against the Danes on Saturday.

I doubt I’d have even noticed that Xhaka was denied by their keeper had I not seen a post-match interview with Lichtsteiner headlined “The goal was very stupid”.

Of course, I wondered if Xhaka (or the former Arsenal man) had played any direct part in the only goal of the game, scored by Denmark’s Youssuf Poulsen. You read ‘stupid’ you think Arsenal, let’s face it.

First, Xhaka’s great strike:

Now, in this next video, you can see Denmark cut open the Swiss defence who, until that point, had been denied at least three times by superb Schmeichel saves.

Look how Arsenal-y it is…

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that while I move on to another moment of note in the game, namely the same two Arsenal-connected players trying to be creative with a free-kick routine only to see it, shock horror, go wrong…

Lichtsteiner was also booked for an elbow after two minutes on his return to international football after missing the previous four Switzerland games.

Xhaka took the armband when Lichtsteiner was replaced by Wolfsburgs’ Kevin Mbabu after 68 minutes.