Alex Iwobi

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Internationals: Iwobi fires Nigeria to World Cup

Alex Iwobi

Five of our first-team players were in international action on Saturday evening.

Alex Iwobi’s Nigeria faced Zambia, while Sead Kolasinac’s Bosnia hosted Belgium.

Elsewhere, Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud were in action for France against Bulgaria, while Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland took Hungary, with each country looking to qualify for next summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia.

Scroll down to find out how they got on:

Alex Iwobi
Saturday, October 7
Nigeria 1-0 Zambia

Alex Iwobi came off the bench to score the winner for Nigeria in their World Cup qualifier against Zambia. The forward replaced Moses Simon after 66 minutes before slamming home from close range seven minutes later to send Nigeria to next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Alex Iwobi

Granit Xhaka
Saturday, October 7
Switzerland 5-2 Hungary

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for Switzerland in their World Cup qualifying win over Hungary. The midfielder capitalised on goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s slip to slot in from close range are just 18 minutes. Fabian Frei then added a second minutes later, with Steven Zuber making it three just before half-time.

Zuber got another moments after the restart and, despite Richard Guzmics and Roland Ugrai scoring in the closing stages, Stephan Lichtsteiner struck a fifth to secure a routine win for Switzerland. Xhaka’s country have now qualified for next summer’s World Cup, topping their group by winning every single game.

Granit Xhaka

Sead Kolasinac
Saturday, October 7
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-4 Belgium

Sead Kolasinac played the duration of Bosnia’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium. Thomas Meunier gave the visitors the lead, but Haris Medunjanin and Edin Visca then struck to turn the game on its head.

Michy Batshuayi and Jan Vertonghen then restored Belgium’s lead and even though Dario Dumic equalised with eight minutes to go, Yannick Carrasco found the net 60 seconds later to ensure Belgium left with all three points.

Bosnia now head to Estonia needing second-placed Greece to slip up against Gibraltar if they are to qualify for next summer’s tournament automatically.

Sead Kolasinac

Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud
Saturday, October 7
Bulgaria 0-1 France

Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud both featured in France’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria. Lacazette started in an exciting front three with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, but it was midfielder Blaise Matuidi who opened the scoring after just three minutes. Giroud was an 85th-minute substitute for Mbappe.

France just need to match second-placed Sweden’s result on Tuesday to secure automatic qualification for next summer's tournament. 

The Breakdown

Analysis: How mobile Iwobi led the charge

We extended our unbeaten run at Emirates Stadium to 11 games with a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines our performance and also focuses on:

  • How Alex Iwobi influenced the game with his off-the-ball movement
  • The defensive issues we experienced on our left-hand side
  • How Alexis is returning to his best form after coming back into the side

Click the ‘Play’ button above to watch the latest episode of ‘The Breakdown’ and then check out the following:


Wenger - This is what I want from Iwobi

Alex Iwobi was a minor doubt for Sunday’s game, but not only was he passed fit to play, he was one of our standout performers.

Iwobi roamed across the front line to drag Brighton’s defenders out of position and had a couple of half-chances before sealing our win with a confident finish from Alexis’ backheel.

Iwobi is still just 21 but Arsene Wenger puts plenty of faith in him - and he believes he can do even more.

“I think he’s a kind of player who has a good availability,” said the boss in his post-match press conference. “He helps you a lot to get out of pressure when you are in a build up game and creates spaces.

“What you want from him is final balls and goals as well. A player like him must score 10 goals and he must as well give between six and 10 assists and that’s what I want from him.”

Sead Kolasinac put in another solid shift on the left and also earned praise from the boss after the Brighton game.

“I believe that it’s satisfaction since he arrived here,” he said. “You know why nobody talks about him so much, because the transfer amount was not excessive, but what is important is the quality of his performances. I am very happy with his performances.”

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