When Arsenal win, it’s almost invariably thanks to Mesut Özil, and Sunday was no different.
That’s not strictly true of course, but it feels a hell of a lot like it. Scoring the opener on Sunday, it was only the German’s fourth goal of the season. Add that to 16 assists, and you get a clear picture of his important he is to our attack.
Arsenal have only scored 39 Premier League goals all season, Özil has directly contributed to over half of them. That doesn’t even include the chances we should have scored thanks to him, or the goals he’s helped create but didn’t play the final pass for.
Of the 15 Premier League games Özil has scored or assisted in this season, Arsenal have lost just once and drawn only twice. When he influences the play, we almost always end up winning. At Dean Court he didn’t influence play as much as usual but he did have the most vital touch of the match to put Arsenal ahead.
Özil makes it 1-0 Arsenal pic.twitter.com/tumYmtsPVc
— Terje (@TerjeGoal) February 7, 2016
That strike nicely juxtaposes what we make his performance, and what his performance was like on Tuesday night. Usually dainty and subtle, Özil creates chance after chance. On Tuesday against Southampton this left Arsenal frustrated, a 0-0 draw despite 10 chances created by the German.
Not this time around. Mesut only forged two attempts on goal for others, but sensing the danger as Aaron Ramsey whipped the ball towards Olivier Giroud, he pounced on the headed pass and made no mistake, unleashing a right(!) foot volley past Artur Boruc before the Pole even knew what was going on. Cor. A Mesut Özil goal is rare enough, one with his right foot is an incredible commodity.
It’s a shame such a goal was seen by so few – the attendance at Bournemouth was the second lowest Arsenal have played in front of in the Premier League – but it was a strike worthy of breathing life back into a title race.
After four games without a win, Özil took it upon himself to make the difference for Arsenal. Not for the first time this season, he kept us in the chase.