The chips were down for Unai Emery against Bate Borisov and in an attempt to break them, he decided to shake things up, introducing Mesut Ozil into the fray.
In only his second appearance in 2019, the Arsenal talisman proved his ability with a commendable performance in the final third.
Despite obviously not being completely fit for action after appearing for the first time in almost a month, the German’s majestic touch and clinical instincts in the final third were persisting. Right from the get-go, he created space for himself in the final third and always served as a viable option to pass to.
Rather than trying to go for glory himself, he distributed possession really well from midfield to attack, allowing his wingers to run forward. Ozil created a few glaring chances, especially in the second half when his clever through-ball wasn’t capitalized well by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
The German gave a very disciplined performance, rarely losing possession and recording an 89% passing accuracy from more than 80 passes! He also attempted and succeeded two dribbles (stats via Fotmob), while his off the ball movement to drag away players was also glaring at multiple opportunities.
On another day, Ozil could’ve had a goal or assist. One of his shots swung closely over the post and he showed signs of his old self as the game progressed. If not anything, he proved to be ready to immerse back into Arsenal’s starting lineup to help them achieve the Europa League success.
With Bournemouth up tonight, Emery must allow the German to roam free if he’s going to keep his team in the race for Champions League qualification.