London, Tuesday @PeopleSport11
To many, the idea of Mesut Ozil wearing the captain’s armband feels alien. In the Premier League, captains are konwn to be ranters and ravers, trojans who crunch into challenges, command their team-mates and square up to the opposition.
Yet not every leader operates this way. Roy Keane once revealed Eric Cantona rarely said a word as Manchester United’s captain in the 1990s, yet his quality and presence could lift his side in an instant.
Here, Ozil followed Cantona’s lead, transforming his team and altering the mood by imposing his talent. With his side a goal down, the German assumed responsibility, starting a move that he himself finished to equalise.
And, from there, we witnessed a player scaling the highest peaks of his potential. A majestic pass carved open Leicester for Arsenal’s second, gloriously releasing Hector Bellerin, who in turn teed up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a tap-in.
Arsenal’s third—as magical a goal as any from the Arsene Wenger era—was the archetypal Ozil construction and the fruit of Unai Emery’s work.
It began with goalkeeper Bernd Leno and in seven passes Arsenal had sliced Leicester open.
Ozil was at the centre of it all, with a balletic backheel to begin the flow and a dainty dummy later on, as Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang also opened their showreel of flicks before the latter applied the finish.
In truth, Arsenal had been pulled here, there and everywhere by a vibrant Leicester City during a troubling first half.
They trailed deservedly and Ozil, captain for the night, appeared to be shrinking just as his side needed his input the most. For 44 minutes, his was a timid display. -DAILYMAIL