Granit Xhaka pranks Xabi Alonso with injury after scoring Bayer Leverkusen screamer | Football | Sport

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Granit Xhaka pranks Xabi Alonso with injury after scoring Bayer Leverkusen screamer | Football | Sport

Granit Xhaka hilariously had Xabi Alonso panicking tonight after hammering home a stunning goal in Bayer Leverkusen’s clash with Mainz. The game was just three minutes old when the Swiss international curled in a stunning left-foot effort from outside the area, the ball sailing over away keeper Robin Zentner and dipping into the top corner.

The strike was enough to get his manager off his seat, but Alonso’s joy soon turned to despair when the former Arsenal man clutched his left hamstring in apparent pain. All was not as it seemed though, with a broad smile duly breaking out across Xhaka’s face.

He was then joined by his teammates in mockingly grabbing their own legs. Realising he’d been pranked, Alonso was then seen smiling as he held back medical staff who were preparing to run onto the pitch to issue treatment.

The 31-year-old has a long history of injury problems, but has managed 30 club appearances in the 2023/24 campaign. The hilarity was short-lived though, with Dominik Kohr levelling for the visitors just four minutes later.

But it was Leverkusen who eventually ran out 2-1 winners, courtesy of Robert Andrich’s second-half goal. And the result brings the prospect of the Bundesliga title coming to the club even nearer, with the gap between them and Bayern Munich now 11 points.

Bayern can respond when they host RB Leipzig on Saturday, but the league now appears a formality. On social media however, the post-match reaction was dominated by Xhaka’s moment of entertainment, and not the result itself.

“Xabi Alonso’s reaction after Xhaka’s celebration is priceless,” said @scrapytweets, who also added a series of laughing emoji’s. ”I wasn’t laughing until I saw Alonso reassuring everyone,” added @Yeaynabeba. @StokeyyG2 wrote: “I’m crying Xabi Alonso was about to sub Xhaka off and then he realised.”

Xhaka, 31, remains on course for the third top-flight title of his career, having won the Swiss Super League crown with Basel in both 2010/11 and 2011/12. He also won two FA Cups with Arsenal, but was part of the squad that capitulated in the closing weeks last season before missing out on the Premier League to Manchester City.

Despite being deemed a pivotal squad player to the Gunners, he then moved to Leverkusen on a five-year contract in the summer. And he’s since justified the £21.4million fee, although his strike against Mainz signified his first goal of the season.

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