After a week of debate and speculation, Mesut Ozil returned to the Arsenal starting 11 against Burnley on Saturday, with the German captaining Unai Emery’s side.
In a game littered with fouls and cards, Arsenal would battle to a 3-1 win against a Clarets’ side who were unlucky to win by a tw-goal margin.
The opening goal of the game came from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who fired home from a Sead Kolasinac cut-back.
However, the real architect of the goal was Ozil, who produced a truly magnificent pass to set up the Bosnian wing-back…
We won’t see many better passes all season.
Arsenal would go in at half-time ahead for the first time in the Premier League this season.
The game was full of flash-points, with Sokratis and Ashley Barnes involved in a running battle.
Arsenal made it 2-0 early in the second-half, courtesy of a thumping strike from Aubameyang an Alexandre Lacazette pass, with the goal making the Gabon striker the Premier League’s top-scorer.
Barnes was lucky to get away with another tussle, this time after planting his boot on the chest of the prone Mattéo Guendouzi.
This is the man who scored against us, 5 minutes earlier, he stamped on Guendouzi – no card.pic.twitter.com/YUcqHLatG7
— IDontLikeSpurs (@IDontLikeSpurs) December 22, 2018
Burnley continued to threaten a makeshift Arsenal defence which saw Granit Xhaka dropping into a back three after Nacho Monreal added to Emery’s defensive injury problems.
Barnes then nabbed a scrappy but deserved goal for the visitors just after the hour-mark to set up a nervy finale for the home fans.
However, despite more pressure from Burnley, Arsenal would seal the deal late on, with sub Alex Iwobi scoring after more good work from Ozil.
The win, while not totally convincing, saw the Gunners bounce back after their midweek defeat to Spurs in the League Cup.
As for Burnley, then remain in the drop-zone after a hard-working but ultimately fruitless afternoon.