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VIDEO: Xhaka smashes home incredible free kick

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Granit Xhaka loves to smash a shot in on goal. On Sunday it was no different.

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The makeshift left back drilled home a stunning free kick in the second half to make it 1-1, then ran over to celebrate with his manager Unai Emery.

Take a look at the video below to see Xhaka in full-flow.


UEFA Nations League: Dzeko scores, Finland wins again

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England’s 3-1 win over Spain was the biggest news of the day in UEFA Nations League play, but there was plenty else to take from the action on Monday.

Edin Dzeko bagged a double as Bosnia & Herzegovina defeated Northern Ireland 2-0. The Roma striker robbed Jamal Lewis of the ball in his own defensive third after the defender slipped, and he buried the chance before the defense could regroup. He picked up his second with 17 minutes remaining as Miralem Pjanic completely bypassed the midfield with a fantastic long chip to Dzeko waiting on the left side of the box, and he had an easy finish with the defense trailing the play.

Dzeko’s two goals were two of just five total shots on target between the two sides in an otherwise drab match, as Northern Ireland has just one win in its last six matches.

Finland topped Greece 2-0 for its fifth consecutive clean-sheet win, going ahead on a goal by Pyry Soiri who finished off a messy chance in the box just after halftime as Greece failed to clear. Finland has not conceded a single goal since falling 2-0 to Romania in mid-June, a run of 479 total minutes. The center-back pairing of Joona Toivio and Paulus Arajuuri has started and played every minute of the three UEFA Nations League wins. Midfielder Glen Kamara scored Finland’s second, ending the country’s run of three straight 1-0 victories.

Switzerland held on to beat Iceland 2-1, with Haris Seferovic and Michael Lang on target for the visitors in Reykjavik. The former headed in a perfect far-post cross from Granit Xhaka just after halftime, while Lang finished off a beautiful bit of team play as Seferovic switched play from right to left before it came back in front of net, touching two Swiss players before finding Lang on the doorstep for finish in traffic. Alfred Finnbogason picked up a consolation with nine minutes left but that would wrap things up.

Hungary drew 3-3 with Estonia in a wild match that featured a double from Hoffenheim striker Adam Szalai. The 30-year-old Hungarian bagged a brace on his 50th cap, including his second that rescued a point for his country in the 81st minute after they wasted a 2-1 lead and fell behind 3-2.

Luxembourg topped 10-man San Marino 3-0, grabbing the opener just four minutes in and cruising to the win. Belarus and Moldova drew 0-0 in Minsk as Moldova failed to register a single shot on target despite holding the majority of possession.

Arsenal hold off late Newcastle charge

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  • Ozil scores in 200th Arsenal app
  • Xhaka bags free kick
  • Clark pulls one back
  • Newcastle one point in five

A stoppage time goal had Arsenal on red alert despite a relatively comfortable 90 minutes in a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil scored for Arsenal, who moves level on points with sixth place Spurs.

Ciaran Clark nodded in a Yoshinori Muto cross in stoppage time to give the Magpies extremely late hope, but Newcastle remains in the drop zone after playing four of their first five against Top Four contenders.

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A big error from a slipping Shkrodan Mustafi forced Sokratis into a good intervention after Jacob Murphy pushed his chance a bit too hard.

Newcastle had to remove injured captain Jamaal Lascelles for Ciaran Clark at the break. Would Arsenal take advantage?

It was Newcastle’s other center back, Federico Fernandez, who allowed Arsenal to score its opener. Xhaka lashed a bending free kick past a flying Martin Dubravka. 1-0.

Xhaka’s long cross led a shot blocked into the path of Ozil, who did not miss.

Petr Cech didn’t have to make a save until the 88th minute, pushing a Joselu header over the goal.

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FIFA fines Xhaka, Shaqiri, Lichtsteiner for goal celebrations

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MOSCOW (AP) — FIFA has fined three Switzerland players for making hand gestures of an Albanian national symbol to celebrate World Cup goals against Serbia, and cleared them to continue playing.

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Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri received a warning and a fine of $10,100 for unsporting behavior, in a judgment Monday by FIFA’s disciplinary panel.

Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner was warned and fined $5,050.

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The FIFA judges had the power to impose two-match bans if the actions of the players in a 2-1 win last Friday in Kaliningrad were judged to have provoked the general public.

Xhaka and Shaqiri made hand gestures of a two-headed eagle after scoring second-half goals, and Lichtsteiner joined in the celebration.

FIFA opens case against Xhaka, Shaqiri for celebrations

Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP
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FIFA’s disciplinary committee opened disciplinary proceedings against Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for politically charged goal celebrations during their 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia in Kaliningrad.

[ MORE: The meaning behind Xhaka, Shaqiri’s eagle celebration ]

FIFA also said Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. FIFA also is reviewing statements that Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic made after the match.

Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage. Both of their families come from Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence and relations between the two countries remain tense.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Polish Football Association was fined $10,100 and given a warning by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for a banner that the governing body deemed political and offensive. The banner was displayed during Senegal’s 2-1 win over Poland on Tuesday in Moscow.

The committee also opened disciplinary proceedings against the federations of Argentina and Croatia for crowd disturbances during Croatia’s 3-0 win Thursday at Nizhny Novgorod.