Arsene Wenger praised Mesut Ozil’s ‘absolutely amazing’ first half performance as the German engineered an outstanding 2-0 win for Arsenal against Napoli.
The midfielder cushioned a fantastic opener on eight minutes, his first for his new club, before teeing up Olivier Giroud seven minutes later as the Gunners overran their Serie A opponents before the break.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Wenger gave a glowing assessment of his £42 million man:
“First half, [he was] absolutely amazing, fantastic. Everything was in there – collective skill, individual skill, finishing, all that you dream to see.
“When it takes too long to score it is always on your mind a little bit, so he got rid of that.”
Asked if his side’s opening 45 minutes was their best of the season so far, Wenger continued:
“I think so, especially in the first half. I felt that we played at a good pace technically, were direct and finished with great goals.
“Overall the first half was outstanding. Second half, we played more with more maturity, less drive going forward and a bit more caution. But overall it was an outstanding game.
“We were solid and overall it was positive, because I wanted Mathieu Flamini to stop Marek Hamsik on the counter-attack and he did that work very well.”
Top of Group H three points ahead of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund, who beat Marseille this evening, the boss stressed there is still work to be done if his side are to secure safe passage to the knockout round.
“We could not have started better. The next two will be deciders, so that’s why we want to come back after an international break and have a great game like that against Dortmund.”