A poor first half was followed by a frustrating second half, but one man lived up to his billing.
No, not Dele Alli, who was impressive but didn’t really justify the man of the match award that Gary Neville decided to give to him. I’m talking about Mesut Özil.
Drifting from his number ten position, Özil completed more passes than anyone else on Sunday afternoon as he probed. Joel Campbell and Alexis Sánchez wanted the ball to feet, making the closed padlock that was Spurs’ defence even harder to pick than usual.
Thankfully, Özil always has the master key. Arsenal had nine shots on the day (the stats are counting 10, but Alexis’ first half effort saw the offside flag go up) and Arsenal’s German maestro laid on seven of them.
No player completed more passes than Özil (44 via FourFourTwo Stats Zone) during the game, and he managed to complete six crosses too. Seven key passes is an absurd amount in one game, yet Özil reached that tally for the third time in a single game all season.
A player has created seven chances or more in a game on seven occasions in the PL this season. Ozil & Payet have both done it three times
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) November 8, 2015
Eventually, it paid dividends. His fifth key pass of the game was a beautiful ball to Kieran Gibbs, who had pulled off Kyle Walker at the back post. Hugo Lloris fumbled the shot and Gibbs wheeled away to celebrate.
Arsenal were finally level and it was thanks – in no small part – to the work of Özil yet again.
Another superb performance when it comes to end product has left him miles ahead of anyone else in Europe’s major leagues yet again. Domestically, no other player has more then seven assists this season. Özil has 10.
Özil has now played 54 key passes in the Premier League this season. Dimitri Payet has 47 (in one extra appearance), nobody else in Europe has breached the 40 mark yet.
Quite simply, we’re very lucky to have him and you wonder where we’d be without him right now.