Football

Arsenal: Granit Xhaka confident club will finish in top four



Following another determined fightback from the Gunners, the midfielder believes they are firming to finish in a Champions League spot

Granit Xhaka believes a renewed collective spirit will assure Arsenal a top four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Swiss international was prominent as Arsenal drew 1-1 with Liverpool, moving to a 14-game unbeaten streak.

Xhaka credits the arrival of Unai Emery as a major factor in their revival, both on and off the pitch.

Emery said Arsenal is closing in on the rest of the Premier League’s top sides, and the midfielder agress.

“Each game we know what we do,” he said. “We know the opposition well, where they are good and where they are not. He (Emery) is important. He helps us, not only me but all the players, with the small things. The tactical things. You can see that on the pitch.

“A lot of small things have changed. We have great character. If you are 1-0 down for example against Liverpool, we come back and it’s not the first time.

“We knew we would not lose this game because we were so good and showed that character again. If you see this game, you can see we are ready for the top four.”

According to Xhaka, another factor is Lucas Torreira. Having arrived from Sampdoria this season, the Uruguayan midfielder has adjusted quickly and is a partner to the 26-year-old.

“Every game is better and better,” Xhaka said. “He is so important. He knows when to go and when to stay. He brings good balance between offence and defence.

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“I think we can be happy with our performance. We know Liverpool have a good team but we gave everything and we showed a great game. In my opinion we were the better team.”

Arsenal are currently in fifth place, one point behind fourth-place Tottenham and four points behind Liverpool and Chelsea.

Next up is a Europa League clash with Sporting CP before a return to Premier League play against Wolves.



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