Arsenal 4 Everton 1: Wenger praises Ozil for doing the ‘dirty work’
Arsenal 4 Everton 1: Mesut Özil earns praise from Arsene Wenger after helping Gunners to FA Cup victory
Arsene Wenger heaped praise on Mesut Ozil after the playmaker helped fire Arsenal into the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of Everton.
Özil, who has come in for criticism for some below-par displays in recent weeks, gave Arsenal the lead in the seventh minute with a side-footed finish, but the visitors drew level when Romelu Lukaku tapped in Ross Barkley’s cross before half-time.
What I liked with him is that physically he looked regenerated
Mikel Arteta’s penalty then put Arsenal 2-1 up in the 68th minute, before substitute Olivier Giroud added gloss to the scoreline with two neat finishes.
And Wenger felt that Ozil look re-energised after the Germany international impressed against the Toffees at Emirates Stadium.
“Of course it’s important for him he took his chance because sometimes you want him to take the chance because he always looks for the good pass,” said Wenger.
“I hope that will encourage him. What I liked with him is that physically he looked regenerated, having more power in his runs.
“As well I liked that he did a lot of dirty work for a player like him, that means he tracked back in the first half – especially on the counter attack he came back with long runs.
“When he behaves like that of course you have a better chance to win the game.”
And with his side two Wembley wins away from ending their nine-year wait for a trophy, Wenger added: “We are in the semi final, mathematically I cannot deny that what you say is true but practically it is a bit more difficult than that. let’s see who we have to play in the semi final and do it again.”