Mesut Özil shone in Arsenal’s win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, assisting the opening goal and providing moments of brilliance throughout as the Gunners went on to win 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
It is no surprise, then, that Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger was almost as effusive in his praise of Özil as we were after the match.
“He had a very good performance,” the Arsenal boss said in his post-match press conference.
A bit of an understatement, maybe? Özil created a number of chances for his teammates and completed an astounding 54 of the 55 passes he attempted before being subbed off late on.
“He was important getting out from the back, getting out of tight areas. It is a pleasure to watch the quality of his passing and the intelligence of his passing.
“What I told you is what I want from him more is a few more goals this season.”
That was clear, and the German found himself in more advanced positions more often. He was unlucky that the ball didn’t fall to him in the box on more than one occasion.
“For the rest of the build-up in the game he was magnificent,” Wenger said.
“He works harder than people thinks he does. He is not spectacular in his defending but he wants to do the job, he wants to help the team.
“What I liked in his game today was he made many runs without the ball behind the defenders, which is a bit new as he likes to come with the ball. Today he mixed up his game better.”
Mesut’s movement off the ball tormented the Crystal Palace side, with defenders and midfielders unsure of whose responsibility he was. In truth, nobody got close to him all afternoon. In that form, nobody can.
If Mesut Özil continues to play like this Arsenal will have a chance no matter how everyone else performs.