Thierry Henry: How Mesut Ozil set the tone for Arsenal’s derby win
The Arsenal legend explains how Mesut Ozil's commitment set the stone for the Gunners' performance
Thierry Henry believes Mesut Ozil set the tone for the Arsenal team in Saturday’s 2-0 derby win against Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsene Wenger made the decision to start the World Cup winner in the north London derby despite Ozil’s disappointing performance in a 3-1 loss to Manchester City before the international break.
The Gunners boss handed Ozil a place in his starting line-up and the 29-year-old justified Wenger’s decision with a man of the match performance against Spurs.
Ozil teed up Shkodran Mustafi to break the deadlock with a header after the former Real Madrid midfielder produced a precise free-kick to break the deadlock.
Alexis Sanchez doubled the home side’s lead with a high finish into the net following good work from club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette.
Former Arsenal striker Henry was impressed with Ozil’s commitment to Gunners’ cause in their morale-boosting derby victory.
“Ultimately, when you’re big players are willing to do the dirty work, then it’s contagious,” Henry told Sky Sports.
“When you see a talented player like Mesut Ozil – and I don’t remember him doing it [often] – doing what he did against Tottenham, it’s contagious.”
Ozil touched the ball 52 times and completed 81 per cent of his passes in the north London derby at The Emirates.
Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last term to miss out on a spot in the Champions League.
Ozil has entered the final 12 months of his current contract with the north London side.