granit xhaka defends pierre-emerick aubameyang

09:15    05 Mar 2019

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L)
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has come to the defence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following his penalty miss this past weekend.

With the North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal locked at 1-1 at Wembley on Saturday, the Gabon forward had the chance to win the match with a late spot kick.

However, his effort was well saved by Spurs’ French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, prompting criticism for Aubameyang.

However, Xhaka insists stepping up on such an occasion takes bravery and has defended his teammate, insisting that such things happen in football.

"If you take a penalty in the derby you have big balls," Xhaka said of the Panthers attacker.

“Not all of the players would have taken this one. So we are happy he took the penalty.

“If he scores he scores, if he doesn't score he doesn't score. This is football."

Aubameyang has netted 16 goals from 28 Premier League appearances this season – only Sergio Aguero (Manchester City, 18 goals) and Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, 17 goals) have scored more in 2018/19.

The Gabon striker will look to make up for his penalty miss against Tottenham when Arsenal face another high-profile Premier League match, as they host Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday 10 March.

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