Mesut Ozil is a man on fire. After two seasons of adjusting to the English game, he has finally become the creative hub that Arsene Wenger signed him to be. With 10 assists in the 12 league games that he has played this season, he is leading the assists charts and looks likely to break Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a Premier League. Let’s take a look at his 5 best assists in Arsenal colours.
5. Mathieu Flamini vs. Cardiff City
Arsenal visited Cardiff city on top of their form in 2013/14. Mesut Ozil was unplayable as he made two assists in the match to help the Gunners to a comfortable 3-0 victory, and it is his second assist that makes it to number five on this list. 85 minutes played, Mesut Ozil received the ball on the right hand side from Aaron Ramsey, as Arsenal looked to break. Not breaking stride, he took a slight step in before playing a perfectly weighted reverse through ball between two defenders for Mathieu Flamini to hammer home a first touch finish. The weight on the ball and precision was perfect, and Ozil made it easy even for Flamini to score off a single touch.
(His first assist in the match was also a classy one, a delightful lob to Aaron Ramsey who duly headed it home. You can watch the video for both goals below)
4. Theo Walcott vs. Stoke
Arsenal’s matches against Stoke are always heated affairs and more often than not, provide some moments to remember. This was one of them, as Ozil played the perfect through ball for Theo Walcott. Receiving the ball in his own half after Francis Coquelin won the ball for Arsenal, he looked up and saw the run of Walcott, and without hesitation he launched a gorgeous aerial through ball, with the most perfect weight and accuracy and the Englishman did the rest. Receiving the ball with the most perfect of touches to take it away from the defender and set him up on his favoured right foot, he sprinted on to apply the finish past Jack Butland, giving Arsenal the lead.
3. Kieran Gibbs vs. Tottenham Hotspurs
Number three on this list is a goal in the North London Derby. With twelve minutes to go, Arsenal were trailing by a goal at home to their fiercest of rivals, and having lost Cazorla in midfield, they looked like they lacked the needed creativity. Ozil saw that their usual passing game wasn’t working and he helped create most of the Gunners’ chances with some brilliant corners and free kicks, almost all of which saw the Gunners come dangerously close to scoring. It was Ozil again, who did eventually create the equaliser for Arsenal. Out of favour left back Kieran Gibbs was brought on to replace Joel Campbell as an attacking option, amidst a host of injuries leaving Arsenal with a weakened bench, and it was the Englishman who got the goal. Ozil had the ball on the right hand side, cut in and whipped in an inviting cross to the far post for Gibbs to run on to, and the fullback playing as a winger applied the finish as Arsenal levelled the match. Kyle Walker had been in excellent form for Tottenham on their right hand side, and the ball had to be inch perfect for Gibbs to beat his defender, and it was just that.
2. Olivier Giroud vs. Aston Villa
Number two on this list is his sumptuous flick for Olivier Giroud against Aston Villa. Mertesacker played a long ball forward to Ozil, who flicked it delightfully with the outside of his left boot for Olivier Giroud to run on to. The Frenchman didn’t let the moment down, and scored with a nice chip over the ‘keeper, but Ozil’s moment of magic is what will always be remembered about that goal.
1. Alexis Sanchez vs. Reading
The first half of Arsenal’s FA Cup semi final against Reading in 2014/15 was a dull affair, with Arsenal struggling to settle and Reading happy to sit back and defend in numbers. But all their defending couldn’t stop Ozil’s vision and Alexis’ brilliance as the German saw Sanchez’s run from thirty five yards out and picked him up a delightful ball played over the top of the Reading defence. Sanchez did the rest, with a perfect first touch and a dummy to beat his defender, before coolly slotting it home. The match went on to extra time and Arsenal won with another Sanchez goal coming through another Ozil assist, but this pass takes the cake. The number of defenders between Ozil and Sanchez, the vision required to spot the Chilean’s run and the perfection in the execution, added with the importance of the fixture, makes this Mesut Ozil’s best assist for Arsenal till date.