Mikel Arteta explains Mesut Ozil’s absence for Man City v Arsenal
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta explains why Mesut Ozil didn't feature against Manchester City on Wednesday night
Mikel Arteta has revealed that Mesut Ozil was left out of the Arsenal squad for their 3-0 loss to Manchester City for tactical reasons on Wednesday night.
The former Germany international was a noticeable absentee for the trip to the defending Premier League champions despite the £42.5m midfielder being free from injury.
Ozil had started every Premier League game under Arteta since the Spanish coach took over the reins of the north London side from his compatriot Unai Emery.
Arsenal lost 3-0 to Manchester City in their first Premier League fixture in three months after the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in his post-match interview on Sky Sports about Ozil’s absence, Arteta said: “It was a tactical reason.
“I’m going to select the players for the day that we believe as staff that are the best for the day and that’s it.”
Ozil has scored one goal and has made two assists in 18 appearances in the Premier League this season.
The Germany playmaker was initially out of favour under Emery before Arteta handed Ozil another chance to claim a regular first-team spot.
Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock in the first half following David Luiz’s error before Kevin de Bruyne scored from the penalty spot following the Arsenal defender’s sending off for a foul in the box.
Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden extended the home side’s lead in the 90th minute to move the Citizens to within 22 points of Premier League leaders Liverpool FC.
The Gunners, on the other hand, are in ninth position and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC in the race to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Saturday when the Gunners make the shorter trip to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton and Hove Albion.
Manchester City’s next fixture is against Sean Dyche’s Burnley side at The Etihad on Monday night as Pep Guardiola’s men look to make Liverpool FC wait to win the Premier League title.