Analyzing Mesut Ozil's Performance vs. Napoli
Mesut Ozil continued his fine form at Arsenal by providing a goal and an assist in the Gunners' 2-0 win over Napoli in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday.
Just eight minutes into this contest, Ozil began the day's scoring:
It was indeed a quality opener. Granted, Ozil certainly doesn't deserve all the credit. Aaron Ramsey delivered a wonderful cross and Ozil provided the quick and accurate finish from 18 yards out to slide the ball by the keeper:
Ozil's immense contributions were not limited to that goal. He set up the second marker, which was scored by Olivier Giroud in the 15th minute.
While that concluded the scoring, Ozil continued to show outstanding awareness and comfort with his teammates. He was also very active and occupied the attention of the Napoli defense throughout the entire match.
After signing for a club-record £42.5 million at the end of this past summer transfer window, Ozil arrived at the Emirates with huge expectations. It is safe to say he is meeting them.
His performance against Napoli has become the norm for this prodigious player. Ozil has already tallied three assists for the Gunners in EPL play, and his stats don't tell the whole story.
His impact on the Gunners' attack is difficult to quantify. However, I think this tweet does a nice job of giving us an idea:
I've heard that Mesut Ozil assisted the nurses during his own delivery.— Mark Oosterveen (@MarkOosterveen) October 1, 2013
Ozil's creative talent and ability to dissect a defense have been on full display. This win gave Arsenal six points in their first two Group F fixtures, which is a stunning reversal from their opening day defeat against Aston Villa.
As the evidence continues to pour in, it becomes clear that Ozil deserves a lion's share of the credit for this.
With each match, he is commanding more of the opposing defense's attention. This helps open up things for his teammates. Also, Ozil's intelligence on the ball helps the Gunners deliver pointed attacks.
As we saw with his goal on Tuesday, it allows for the talent of players like Ramsey to shine while his vision and ability to facilitate create chances for his teammates.
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