Football

Xhaka impressed fans with his performance during the Liverpool draw..

Granit Xhaka was involved in a footrace with Mohamed Salah during Liverpool draw

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Simply put, Granit Xhaka was immense during Arsenal's draw with Liverpool this weekend.

The Swiss international has received his fair share of criticism at the Emirates Stadium, but he delivered one of his finest performances in an Arsenal shirt against the Reds.

The key to Arsenal's finest spells in the game was their midfield with Lucas Torreira also producing a heroic showing against the likes of James Milner and Fabinho.

In the end, it was the Uruguayan who took home the Man of the Match award but Xhaka certainly gave him a run for his money and accumulated some impressive statistics along the way.

Across the game, Xhaka produced the most passes on the pitch, made more recoveries than any other player and even topped the charts for tackling.

Xhaka impressed vs Liverpool

And it all comes in a phase of the season where Xhaka has had to fill in a left-back, a position he also took to with confidence before Sead Kolasinac's introduction.

The media certainly didn't shy away from his performance either the Express awarding him a 7/10 and writing: "Several important tackles set the tone while his range of passing was impressive."

As for the fans, one moment that impressed them more than most came in the first-half and it saw Xhaka facing the ominous task of catching Mohamed Salah.

Arsenal FC v Leicester City - Premier League

Xhaka vs Salah footrace

The end result - Xhaka delivering a super slide tackle - received plenty of attention across Twitter, but the footrace beforehand is arguably the more remarkable aspect.

Despite Salah boasting a pace rating of 92 on FIFA 19 and Xhaka having just 48, the Arsenal man was able to close the gap and make the tackle.

Of course, Salah had the disadvantage of having the ball at his feet, yet Xhaka still showed unexpected pace to close down the gap on foot.

Arsenal fans simply loved it - so check out the video below:

Somebody needs to tell EA Sports to give Xhaka an upgrade.

There's no chance the 26-year-old would compete with Salah if they ever organised a 100 metre race, but it goes to show that his rating of 48 is pretty harsh.

Salah certainly didn't enjoy one of his finer displays on the night and being caught by Xhaka will certainly prove another source of frustration for the Egyptian.

Fans were pleasantly surprised by his pace and there's certainly a promising trend with Xhaka's performance under the management of Unai Emery.

Arsenal FC v Leicester City - Premier League

There have been criticism of Xhaka's temperament and decision-making since his 2016 transfer, yet those mistakes seem to be disappearing with every game.

Gooners can take a lot of confidence from the Liverpool performance going forward, even if it's still early days for the Arsenal midfield and their overall team.

Do you think FIFA 19 have rated Xhaka's pace harshly? Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics:
Football
Lucas Torreira
Sead Kolasinac
Mohamed Salah
Granit Xhaka
Premier League
Arsenal
Liverpool

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