Mesut Ozil impressed in Arsenal’s win against Newcastle on Monday with a Man of the Match performance after his first consecutive Premier League starts in 2019. His creativity and flair made him Maryam Naz’s Offside Rule Player of the Week. So without further ado…
1) String puller
The 30-year-old was in his element against Rafa Benitez’s men, showcasing the full extent of his attacking capabilities. Not only did he create the most chances in the game but he was racked up the highest number of successful passes (63).
Indeed, Ozil frequently fed the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi with through-balls that dissected the Newcastle defence with relative ease.Embed from Getty Images
The German was given freedom, sitting just behind the Gunner’s attack pulling the strings, allowing the front three to capitalise on the chances he provided them with.
2) Defensive contributions
The Arsenal midfielder’s inability to track back is always at the forefront of the criticism surrounding him. Yet against the Magpies Ozil silenced his doubters by helping out his fellow teammates whenever Newcastle looked to counter.
The German recovered possession for his side 12 times at the Emirates. His fitness data, which showed he ran a total distance of 10k in the 90 minutes, is an even more damning stat for his critics.Embed from Getty Images
In the absence of the suspended Lucas Torreira and injured Granit Xhaka, this aspect of his game is crucial to Arsenal’s hopes of securing a top four spot. Tenacious displays such as Ozil’s will be needed to help them across the finishing line.
3) Effective decision-making
Ozick showed off his footballing know-how in the final third. He made quick decisions jn high-pressure situations that players such as Paul Dummett were unable to deal with, especially when he found himself on either flank.
The 30-year-old produced the most crosses in the match (5) and it was his deliveries that seemed to cause the Newcastle defence the most problems.Embed from Getty Images
The composure showed by the German to pick out other players in more threatening positions rather than shooting from obtuse angles made the difference for the Gunners.
4) Honorary mentions
The German might have earned all the plaudit this week, but the Merseyside team’s also impressed.
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk delivered an immense defensive performance to lead his side to victory against Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham. Meanwhile, Everton ran riot against West Ham, with winger Bernard producing a mesmerising attacking display.
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