Wenger reveals how sadness over Champions League exit marred Ozil’s form
Arsenal canter to victory in solid performance against West Ham
05 April, 2017 — By Tom Foot
Wenger says fourth spot is still possible, adding: “We’ve done it before!”
ARSENAL 3, WEST HAM 0
ARSENE Wenger revealed that Mesut Ozil recent slump in form was down to the humiliating Champions League exit.
The Arsenal boss, speaking after a comfortable three-nil win over West Ham, said his record signing had been “hit hard” by the 10-2 Bayern Munich drubbing.
He said: “I feel that he’s back now, physically focused. He was hit hard by us going out in Champions League. It took some time for him to recover mentally from it – now he is back mentally.”
Wenger suggested that Ozil had been “punished” by the fans more than other players but added: “We live in a world of extremes.”
Ozil netted on 58 minutes with his first goal for the Gunners since December 10. His low curling shot should have been saved by the Hammers’ keeper.
The midfielder did not had a great game but after his goal had a purple patch in which he set up captain Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s second.
Olivier Giroud added a third with a peach of a strike with his left foot into the far corner. The game was well won by that point and Giroud barely celebrated despite the brilliance of the finish.
Wenger said: “We had to be patient and not make a mistake. In the end, out technical superiority made the difference. There were good individual performances from goalkeeper to striker. We have gone through a bad period, but I have never questioned the mentality in the team. We have scored 100 goals already this season.”
The win was marred by an injury-time fightback by rivals Spurs against Swansea. A Liverpool draw with Bournemouth however put Arsenal six points behind the Reds with two games in hand. City losing to Chelsea also put them back in the Gunners cross-hares.
Wenger said it was possible to reach fourth, adding: “We have players back from injury, we’ve done it before – in more difficult conditions.”
ARSENAL: Martinez, Bellerin, Gabriel, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 81), Ozil, Walcott (Ramsey, 81), Sanchez, Welbeck (Giroud, 74).
Subs not used: Martinez, Iwobi, Macey, Mertesacker, Gibbs.
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