How Ozil proved he is worth the big bucks against Leicester
Mesut Ozil delivered a stunning masterclass to inspire a brilliant fightback and prove he is worth the big bucks after all.
Ozil scored, provided an assist for one of the best team goals you will see this season and also one of the best passes you will see all season. Even two goal supersub Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was put in the shade by Ozil’s brilliance.
It was one of Ozil’s best ever performances in an Arsenal shirt and if there was any doubt about giving him a new £350,000-a-week contract then his magical display proved he is worth his weight in gold.
Ozil went off to a standing ovation in the 80th minute, his work done after helping to make it ten wins in a row in all competitions after a majestic display from Arsenal’s No10.
It was the first time Ozil has worn the captain’s armband from the start of a game and if this is what happens then Unai Emery may as well just make him skipper on a permanent basis.
It was a night to cherish at the Emirates, certainly the most memorable victory of Emery’s reign so far and one to make the fans wonder that maybe, just maybe, they could challenge for the title.
You tend to get swept away after the euphoria of nights like these as Ozil’s display – even on a Monday night at home to Leicester – was world class. He was magical, brilliant and man-of-the-match all rolled into one.
And yet the bizarre part of it all was that Arsenal were awful in the first half, Ozil anonymous and, like so many of the victories in their winning run, they started slowly, got better and won the game after half time.
That was the story again as Leicester started brilliantly as their pace and lightning counter attacks tore Arsenal’s defence to shreds. Harry Maguire saw a close range header brilliantly saved by Bernd Leno and Leicester were denied a clear penalty after Rob Holding’s blatant handball.
It was one hell of a let off and the reprieve could only last so long. Leicester went ahead after 31 minutes when Ben Chilwell’s cross was deflected off Hector Bellerin and past Arsenal keeper Leno.
But that sparked Arsenal into life and it was Ozil who led the charge. Ozil spread the ball wide to Bellerin and the German then sprinted into the box before steering past Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel moments before half time.
From that moment on, there was only going to be one winner. Aubameyang came on after 61 minutes and within two minutes of coming on put Arsenal ahead.
Ozil played an incredible pass to release Bellerin down the right channel and his low cross was turned in by Aubameyang.
Three minutes later, Arsenal produced a goal of sheer beauty. Ozil dummied the ball, Alexandre Lacazette’s return pass found Ozil who then clipped the ball over Schmeichel for Aubameyang to steer home.
It was a wonderful team goal, it must be a contender for Goal of the Season already and it was the crowning glory on a night to cherish for Arsenal and one to rue for Leicester.
Leicester’s night was just about summed up by Jamie Vardy coming off with ten minutes left to reduce the visitors to ten men with all their substitutes used. But when Arsenal are in this mood, they are absolutely irresistible
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