Mesut Ozil shines as Arsenal crush PSG 5-1 in pre-season friendly

first_imgMesut Ozil returned to action after the World Cup for Arsenal as the North London club thrashed Paris Saint-Germain 5-1 in a pre-season friendly in Singapore.Ozil, who dramatically announced that he won’t play for Germany anymore citing “racism and disrespect” for his Turkish roots, scored the opening goal of the game for Arsenal. The German, who was supported and criticised alike for his announcement, looked calm and composed against a makeshift PSG side at the International Champions Cup.Arsenal fielded a relatively strong side with Ozil as their captain as coach Unai Emery looked to take control early against his former employers.Ozil did not need long to stamp his authority on the contest, side-footing past a stranded Gianluigi Buffon in the 13th minute after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had raced clear down the right and sent a pinpoint low cross into Ozil’s path.Welcome home, @MesutOzil1088It’s good to have you back with us #AFCTour2018 FC (@Arsenal) July 28, 2018The Gunners were utterly dominant and should have added to their tally, but Buffon showed the brilliance that earned him 176 caps for Italy, saving well to deny Alex Iwobi, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they were all clean through on goal.The French champions offered little in a tepid first-half display, midfielder Azzedine Toufiqui twice curling shots wide of Bernd Leno’s right-hand post before the German keeper stood firm to block Timothy Weah’s powerful shot in the 34th minute.Christopher Nkunku produced PSG’s best moment of the half shortly before the break when the French midfielder jinked past three Arsenal defenders before sending a rising shot just over the Arsenal crossbar.advertisementPSG made a much stronger start to the second half and Nkunku soon tested replacement goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez with a stinging free kick from the edge of the penalty area that the Argentine parried clear with a diving punch.Nkunku was not to be denied from the penalty spot, however, sending Martinez the wrong way with a spot-kick awarded on the advice of the assistant referee after Weah had tumbled spectacularly following a clumsy Sead Kolasinac challenge.The 60th-minute strike was reward for PSG’s endeavour but they were only level for seven minutes as substitute Alexandre Lacazette scooped a sublime finish over Buffon from close range to re-establish Arsenal’s advantage.The Frenchman needed just three more minutes to double his personal tally when Buffon missed a punch as PSG scrambled to clear, leaving an unmarked Lacazette to make it 3-1 with a free header that bounced in off the post.Defender Rob Holding and striker Eddie Nketiah rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes as a rampant Arsenal more than made up for a disappointing penalty shootout defeat to Atletico Madrid in the tournament opener on Thursday.Great workout – that’s what it’s all aboutIt ends Arsenal 5-1 PSG #ICC2018 x #AFCTour2018 FC (@Arsenal) July 28, 2018PSG, who will welcome back a raft of World Cup players next week, take on the Spanish Europa League winners in the final match of the event on Monday(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more