A slow first half almost seemed to pass Mesut Özil by on Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal’s lack of pace and movement stifled the playmaker’s ability to influence the game. It wasn’t helped by Swansea’s excellent pressure on the ball, which totally restricted options for the Gunners.
Fortunately, it didn’t last.
The opening goal saw Olivier Giroud head home a perfectly whipped Özil delivery. It looked to come off the training ground: Giroud moved brilliantly, using Per Mertesacker as a shield and diving into space after drawing Ashley Williams out. Obviously, Özil’s delivery was perfect.
Without Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott, Arsenal may have to rely on set-pieces to create more openings than usual; that shouldn’t be an issue with Özil’s fantastic delivery.
The midfielder almost found himself through on goal on the hour mark only for a foul on Alexis Sánchez saw play pulled back. Completing 25 of his 28 passes in the final third on the day (17/18 in the second half alone), there was no doubt he would create more before the game was over.
And he did just that. Some beautiful interplay down the left with Alexis Sánchez saw Özil hold up play before releasing the ball. Bursting into space beyond the defence, he received the ball and looked up to see Joel Campbell free at the back post.
Özil’s cross miraculously went through the legs of two Swansea defenders before Campbell scored his first Arsenal goal.
Three goals, two directly assisted by Özil. Swansea’s mistake was to give the German space to breathe and leave him with the opportunity to again show he can determine the result of a game. The Gunners have now won five consecutive Premier League games, and Özil has assisted in each of them.
Thanks for playing for my club @MesutOzil1088
— Anita Roza (@arsenaloFka) October 31, 2015