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Swiss starlet shines

Goalscorer Shaqiri: Long may it continue

Xherdan Shaqiri’s first Bundesliga goal looked easy enough at first sight, but a close examination of the replay shows it was precision work indeed. Another couple of inches to either side and the Swiss midfielder’s left-foot drive would either have hit the post or rebounded off the foot of in-form Gladbach keeper Marc-André ter Stegen. But it went in, and Shaqiri salvaged a point for his side. The Allianz Arena erupted to acclaim the man described on Saturday by Swiss tabloid Blick as “the magic gnome”.

Shaqiri himself was unfazed by his maiden goal in the German top flight: “I speculated on our opponents making a mistake, I nicked the ball off them and put it away.” Shaq is Bayern’s carefree talent, on and off the field. After coming on as a 38th-minute substitute, Shaqiri caused Gladbach’s packed defence no end of trouble, as FCB’s attacking efforts took on a new and less predictable direction.

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