Arsenal and Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil has defended his decision to swap shirts at half-time with Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, claiming there are more important things to talk about following the club’s Champions League elimination on Tuesday, reported on Goal.com.
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The divisive midfielder came under fire for swapping shirts with the French midfielder as the two sides went into the tunnel at half-time, with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal still needing to score two goals to secure their passage through to the quarter final.
Ozil said, “Geoffrey Kondogbia asked me for my shirt and I wanted to do him a favour.
“Maybe I should have given him the shirt in the tunnel. But seriously guys, is there nothing more important to discuss for a knockout game than a shirt swap?”
ITV pundit and former Manchester United player Paul Scholes was vociferous in his criticism of Ozil, ““I don’t like it – at the end of the game, maybe. But I’m not a big fan even then.
“You do it once you’re in the tunnel or once you’re in the dressing room, out of the way of everyone. At half-time, it’s not for me.”
The German’s performance divided opinion, much like the rest of his season, and as his side could only manage a 2-0 win, they were eliminated from the Champions League on away goals. This leaves the Gunners third in the Premier League, three points clear of fifth placed Liverpool and in the FA Cup semi-final against Reading.