Football

Granit Xhaka Has Absolutely No Sympathy For Northern Ireland's Misfortune

Granit Xhaka Has Absolutely No Sympathy For Northern Ireland's Misfortune

Northern Ireland go into the second leg of their World Cup playoff against Switzerland this evening a goal down. Michael O'Neill's side were on the wrong side of a shambolic penalty decision in the first leg on Thursday.

There was outcry from all following the decision by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan.

That outcry is something which Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka does not understand. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Xhaka had little sympathy for Northern Ireland's misfortune.

I don't know why it is such a big topic or why there is such a big discussion around it.

We were the better team and we want to show it again on Sunday and qualify for Russia. We are a good team.

We are maybe the better team compared to Northern Ireland and on Sunday, with all the support that we will have behind us, we want to make them proud and qualify for the World Cup.

He added that this evening's game will be a different one to the first leg at Windsor Park.

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To discuss the penalty, and whether it was a penalty or not, it is the decision of the referee and not of interest to us.

It is difficult to play Northern Ireland - defensively they are very strong - but I thought we played a good match from the beginning in Belfast and created a couple of good chances.

Sunday is a totally different game. Both teams will act differently but I think our victory in Belfast was deserved.

Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

See Also: Thomas Delaney Uses Bizarre Analogy To Describe The Difficulty Of Playing Ireland

PJ Browne
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