Mesut Ozil’s superb individual performance saw Arsenal come from behind to beat Leicester City 3-1 in the Premier League.
Leicester led in the first half thanks to a Hector Bellerin own goal but the defender set up Ozil for Arsenal’s excellent equaliser shortly before half-time at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
And Ozil drove through the gears after the interval, his sublime play creating two goals for substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the space of just three minutes.
Unai Emery’s side move up to fourth in the Premier League after recording a 10th straight win in all competitions for the first time since 2007, with Leicester simply unable to cope with Ozil at the peak of his powers.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 22, 2018
Arsenal made a nervy start and the hosts should have conceded a penalty when Rob Holding handed the ball in the box.
Bernd Leno had to make a smart stop low to his left to save Harry Maguire’s header from a James Maddison free-kick, but the goalkeeper was beaten in the 31st minute.
Ben Chilwell got round the back of Bellerin and the new England international’s low cross was deflected in off the Arsenal full-back, leaving Leno wrongfooted.
Bellerin made amends before the break, though, collecting a pass from Ozil and delivering a low cross that the Arsenal captain placed past Kasper Schmeichel with a sublime first-time shot.
Leicester went close to retaking the lead but Wilfred Ndidi’s header rattled the woodwork and substitute Aubameyang then scored within two minutes of his introduction.
Ozil was at the heart of it, splitting the Leicester defence with a pass for Bellerin to square a low cross that Aubameyang could not miss, with the Gabon international immediately celebrating his second.
goals in 130 seconds
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 22, 2018
Again it was Ozil conducting Arsenal’s orchestra, flicking the ball past Schmeichel for Aubameyang to complete a sensational move that saw the former Germany international sell the Leicester defence an outrageous dummy before drifting on to Alexandre Lacazette’s pass.
Such was Arsenal’s comfort in the closing stages, Ozil could be withdrawn by Emery for a fully deserved standing ovation to recognise his match-winning performance.
What does it mean: Gunners in the groove
Arsenal’s recent fixtures have arguably been kind but 10 wins in a row is a very positive start to life in London for Emery. The Gunners have found their mojo again and with Ozil in this sort of form Champions League qualification is in their sights, while a title challenge may not be out of the question.
Ozil leads from the front
It has been a strange year for Ozil, who quit international duty in acrimonious circumstances following Germany’s shocking World Cup campaign before being made one of five Arsenal captains by Emery. That decision raised eyebrows, but Ozil was a thrilling presence throughout, creating Aubameyang’s goals and capping a star performance with a glorious one of his own that makes him the most prolific German player in Premier League history.
Leicester rue Kavanagh error
Chris Kavanagh is one of the youngest referees around at just 33-years-old and it was perhaps inexperience that saw him miss an obvious early penalty. Holding handled a high ball and he had already been booked for a poor tackle on Kelechi Iheanacho. Leicester will rightly feel they should have had a spot-kick and maybe a red card for Holding, which would have given the game a different complexion.
Key Opta Facts
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 22, 2018
– Ozil became the highest scoring German player in Premier League history (30 goals).
– Aubameyang has been directly involved in 21 goals in his 22 Premier League games for Arsenal (16 goals, 5 assists).
– Ozil has scored three goals in his last four Premier League appearances, as many as he bagged in his previous 22 in the competition.
– In all competitions, Leicester are winless in their last 26 visits to Arsenal (P26 W0 D6 L20) since winning 2-0 in the top-flight in September 1973.
– Arsenal have scored more Premier League goals via substitutes this season than any other team (6).
Arsenal are away to Sporting CP in the Europa League on Thursday before travelling to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace three days later. Leicester host West Ham on Saturday.
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