Managers are often criticised for fielding weakened teams in the EFL Cup, but two players certainly brought their A-game to the third round of the competition this season.
First up was Arsenal new boy Granit Xhaka, who made it two long-range goals in two games with another thunderbolt against Nottingham Forest.
Saturday: Granit Xhaka scores from 30 yards vs. Hull. 🚀
Tuesday: Granit Xhaka scores 30 yards vs. Forest. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/Jtwzylv2Hg— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 20, 2016
Don’t back off Xhaka. He loves a shot from range. He lets fly here from 30 yards, Stojkovic helps it into net. 1-0 to #afc.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 20, 2016
Netting from around 30 yards, the Swiss midfielder’s shot took a deflection on the way in, negating its beauty somewhat.
And then Cesar Azpilicueta took more of the gloss off Xhaka’s effort.
Well that certainly hit the back of the net. Azpilicueta with an absolute screamer. 2-2 #LCFCvCFC— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 20, 2016
Naturally, fans could not agree which was the better effort (although it was very probably Azpilicueta’s).
Or was it Xhaka’s?
Azpilicueta’s was hit so sweetly on the volley.
Azpilicueta > Xhaka. That's that.— Zeeshan Masih (@MrZeeshanMasih) September 20, 2016
But then Xhaka’s was from so far out.
Great goal from Azpilicueta! Thunderbolt. He's been watching Xhaka!— Jade (@Jadelike_) September 20, 2016
Azpilicueta’s goal didn’t take a deflection.
That Azpilicueta thunder bolt of a goal is what Arsenal fans want us to believe Xhaka scored. Deflection tingz 😂😂😂— مُحَمَّد (@Mahamed_____) September 20, 2016
But Xhaka has scored two like that in less than three days now…
Azpilicueta has been watching them Xhaka vids on YouTube.— 2Ö21 (@Jeremy_Tlau) September 20, 2016
We’re just grateful we got to watch two such magnificent goals in one night.
Xhaka and Azpilicueta strikes of the night— J FIVE. (@thabo_therex) September 20, 2016
That ought to settle it.