Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi wants to make sure Mesut Ozil does not get carried away after his winning goal against Ludogorets — but the defender did admit that his teammate is “incredible.”
Ozil’s 88th-minute goal was the talk of the Arsenal camp after he completed a 3-2 comeback win in spectacular fashion in Bulgaria on Tuesday.
But Mustafi, who has previously said he is not afraid to criticise Ozil in order to keep him at him best, jokingly tried to talk the goal down at first.
“I don’t want to say too much because it will get in his head and he’s going to think he’s the best again,” Mustafi told Arsenal’s official website. “No, we know his qualities. He is incredible.”
Ozil was sent clear on goal by Mohamed Elneny and kept his composure as he first lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper with a deft touch, then faked a shot to get two defenders out of the way before slotting into an empty net.
“He is calm in front of goal, I think I would have just taken the first touch and shot from 20 yards away,” Mustafi said. “But he stays cool, he has the calmness and finishes off brilliantly.”
Arsenal trailed 2-0 after just 15 minutes, but responded with goals from Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud in the first half.
The victory not only put Arsenal through to the Champions League knockout stage, but avoided any negative questions creeping in ahead of Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham.
“It’s not just important for us players but for the whole club and for the fans,” Xhaka said. “Keeping this momentum up ahead of Sunday was vital and of course we want to beat Tottenham.”
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