He is a player who divides opinion. Some see him as a gifted playmaker who can orchestrate football matches with his deft touches, killer passes, and wonderful goals. Others believe he has talent, yes, but that he isn’t always ready to dig deep for the team and force the issues when it is needed for the cause. Whatever way you look at it, no-one can deny Mesut Ozil’s masterful display in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League at the Emirates last night. Make sure you take advantage of the William Hill promo code if you fancy a flutter on the Gunners this season.
In the victory over a resilient Foxes outfit who stunned the home side by taking the lead through a Hector Bellerin own goal, Ozil was at his imperious best. It was the German, who quit the national side after the World Cup to concentrate on his club football under new boss Unai Emery, who dragged Arsenal back to 1-1 with a leveller just before the break, giving the Gunners hope as they went into the break. But hope they didn’t need once the second half was underway, with Ozil pulling strings and the likes of Alex Iwobi and Granit Xhaka backing him up. Before too long the former Real Madrid maestro had put two opportunities on a plate for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon striker, who started on the bench for the home side, had come on as a second-half substitute and, as he did in the last top-flight game at Fulham for the Gunners, nabbed a brace of goals before too long at all.
Auba’s strike partner, Alex Lacazette huffed and puffed in a desperate bid to join the party but for all of his endeavour he lacked the guile needed in front of goal and he couldn’t get his name on the scoresheet. He will get the chance to do exactly that this Thursday when Emery takes his charges to Portugal to face Sporting Lisbon in a Europa League clash. Emery does so as he reflected on a win that takes his side to fourth in the league table and they have won seven games on the bounce in doing so.
After the triumph, he pinpointed the courage Arsenal showed in coming back to succeed from what was a flat first half in which they went 1-0 down. He said:
“We won when we started playing with heart. The first 30 minutes we didn’t control the match with the possession and we suffered, but we are happy because this is our progression, our way and we need to re-organise and play with heart. Our demands are very high because we need to control matches more than now, but in this game, for example, the first 30 minutes we didn’t play good but then for 60 minutes the team played with quality, organisation, and heart and the atmosphere with the supporters is very important. This feeling is good and tonight was our best things.”
Quizzed on the man-of-the-match display from Ozil, who was skippered Arsenal for the first time in the Premier League, the Spanish head coach of the Gunners added:
“We need 10 players with Mesut, sometimes with Aaron Ramsey, also we can play with both sometimes, and the last away match at Fulham we played with two strikers and it was a very good performance too. It was a good match from Mesut but I believe in every player and every different system and position.”