Why Granit Xhaka seemingly turned down the captain’s armband in Arsenal’s win over Brentford


Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Brentford was seemingly somewhat tainted by an incident late in the second half revolving around the captains armband.

The Gunners were 2-0 up and cruising when Alexandre Lacazette, the club captain since the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was substituted for Eddie Nketiah.

Lacazette handed the youngster the armband to pass on, which he attempted to give to Xhaka. Xhaka, however, seemingly refused it on two occasions, and was seen shouting at the Arsenal bench.

However, it has since been cleared up as a misunderstanding by football.LDN writer Kaya Kaynak, who took to Twitter to reveal:

‘Laca was trying to give the armband to Tierney who was preparing to take a throw but couldn’t hear Laca’s shout. Laca therefore gave it to Eddie to give to KT, but EN was told to stay in the CF position by Arteta.’

‘Nketiah then tried to give it to Xhaka to give to Tierney at that point but the throw-in was about to be taken so GX told him to just hold on to it. Not a case of Xhaka refusing the responsibility at all & a bit of a stretch to say it’s a lack of commitment or anything like that.’

Top four race hotting up

The win for the Gunners was overshadowed by the fantastic game later in the day, which saw Tottenham pick up three valuable points away to Manchester City courtesy of a 3-2 win over Pep Guardiola’s side.

And it means that Arsenal and Spurs are one and four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, with the Red Devils playing two more games than both London sides.

It makes their clash with Leeds United on Sunday afternoon even more important, and a defeat could see them fall away from the race for the top 4.

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With 13 games still to play, the race is hotting up.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 25 47 63
2 Liverpool FC 24 42 54
3 Chelsea FC 24 30 47
4 Manchester United 25 8 43
5 West Ham United 25 11 41
6 Arsenal FC 22 9 39
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 4 37
8 Tottenham Hotspur 22 -1 36
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 24 0 33
10 Southampton FC 24 -7 29
11 Leicester City 22 -5 27
12 Aston Villa 23 -5 27
13 Crystal Palace 24 -3 26
14 Brentford FC 25 -14 24
15th Leeds United 23 -19 23
16 Everton FC 22 -10 22
17 Newcastle United 23 -19 21
18 Norwich City 24 -36 17
19 Watford FC 23 -20 15th
20 Burnley FC 21 -12 14
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 12
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Antonio, Michael West Ham United 8
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 8
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 8
Rafinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 7
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 7

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