Unai Emery recalled Mesut Ozil in Arsenal’s starting lineup, as the Gunners ousted Europa League opponents BATE Borisov to progress to the last 16 of the competition.
Arsenal went into the game with a stern job, having lost in the first leg by a single goal. The North London club however responded brilliantly, with goals from Zakhar Volkov(Own goal), Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos enough to see Unai Emery progress.
1 – Since the start of 2017-18, Mesut Ozil has been involved in more goals (7) and created more goalscoring chances (33) than any other Arsenal player in the UEFA Europa League. Recalled. #ARSBAT #UEL pic.twitter.com/cHn2BeJ5XK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 21, 2019
Having demanded consistency from Mesut Ozil prior to the fixture, the midfielder put in a rather fair performance against Thursday opponents. And despite featuring for a complete 90 minutes, Unai Emery still couldn’t make any assurances that Ozil will be on his eleven man list as often as expected.
Speaking after the game, Unai Emery said:
“Today he showed what he wants,”
“If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us.
“His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.”
However, contrast to the manager. teammate Alex Iwobi hailed Mesut Ozil as ‘world class’, attributing all three goals against BATE to the presence of the ex German international.
He [Alex] concluded saying: “Hopefully he can keep on playing.”