Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka put in another impressive performance during the club’s 3-1 Premier League win over Manchester United on Saturday.
The Gunners made a poor start after the international break with three straight losses against Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton.
This led to serious doubts over their Champions League pursuit, and there has been an excellent response since with back-to-back wins over Chelsea and United.
Xhaka was one of the stand-out performers against the Blues on Wednesday night and he replicated the showing against the Red Devils at the Emirates.
The Swiss controlled the proceedings in the centre of the park with 82 touches. He misplaced just four of his 70 passes attempted. An overall success rate of 94 per cent.
However, his most important contribution was undoubtedly his powerful low shot from outside of the box which found the bottom right corner of David de Gea’s net.
Prior to his effort, the game appeared firmly poised. The Red Devils seemed most likely to equalise despite missing a penalty. Xhaka’s strike brought a sense of calm.
With a 3-1 advantage, the Gunners comfortably saw off the threat from the Red Devils. Xhaka has always had a mixed opinion among fans, but has barely put a foot wrong lately.
He has been a pivotal figure in the club’s push for the top four. Following the 3-1 win over United, the Gunners have reclaimed the fourth spot on the table with five games left.
Tottenham Hotspur had the chance to leapfrog them on goal difference with a win at Brentford, but it was not to be. The Bees were unlucky to not come up with three points.
The top four race looks set to go down to the wire. It now appears between the Gunners and Spurs, and it may eventually come down to the north London derby next month.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and SofaScore.com