Belfast Telegraph

Ozil keen to lay down a marker

By Jim Van Wijk

Mesut Ozil has called on Arsenal to underline their Barclays Premier League title credentials with victory over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The Gunners recovered from their opening-day home defeat to West Ham to record a battling 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last weekend.

Liverpool, though, head to north London on the back of successive victories from their first two matches.

The Reds were defeated 4-1 at the Emirates in April, with Arsenal going on to claim third place before lifting the FA Cup again at Wembley.

Ozil, who netted a fine 25-yard free-kick in that encounter, believes tonight provides another opportunity for the Gunners to show just what they are capable of.

"I remember that we delivered a really convincing display. In the first-half we decided the game because we had a high level of concentration and wanted to utilise our potential. We want to do that again this time," Ozil said.

"We are at home and we know exactly how we can beat Liverpool; that is what we want to do on Monday.

"We were concentrating highly. The manager gave us tasks on the pitch and we executed them perfectly. That's what we will have to do again on Monday evening.

"We have to believe in ourselves as we have the potential to beat every team and we will show that."

Ozil delivered a virtuoso display at Selhurst Park last Sunday, completing a 98 per cent pass accuracy which included setting up Olivier Giroud for the opening goal.

It has been a solid transition for the German playmaker, who became the club-record signing when he joined from Real Madrid in September 2013.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been impressed by the progression of the World Cup winner.

"Mesut is now completely committed to the club. Maybe in the first year he didn't know a lot about it," Wenger said.

"He came from Real Madrid and he didn't know how long and whether it would work for him, whether he would enjoy it or not.

"I believe now he is completely on board, committed and focused on getting results for the club."

Belfast Telegraph


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