Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been defended by Switzerland boss Vladimir Petrovic after he was sent-off in the dying moments of his nations 2-0 victory over Portugal in World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday evening.
The 23-year-old was handed his marching orders in the third minute of added time, after two bookable offences, and will now be missing for Switzerland’s second-qualifying match in October against Hungary but is likely to return three-days later, where the Swiss face Andorra.
Whilst Xhaka’s temperament has been called into question in the past, Petrovic defended the player when speaking to the press. He said:
“Those were two half-yellow cards for me, and that’s why I was a bit annoyed. We’ll miss him, but we’ll try to make up for it with a team performance against Hungary. Granit has put in a good performance and also showed leadership skills.”
Xhaka is likely to start for Arsenal against Southampton this weekend, where the Gunners will be looking to build upon their 3-1 victory over Watford before the international break.