Singapore - Mesut
Ozil looked set to be handed a captain's role this season after he
shrugged off his tempestuous row with German authorities to fire Arsenal
to a 5-1 friendly win over Paris Saint-Germain.
Ozil, playing for the first time since he controversially quit the
German national team claiming racism, took the captain's armband and
duly netted the opener as the Premier League club ran riot.
Alexandre Lacazette's quickfire double and late strikes from Rob
Holding and Eddie Nketiah then turned it into a rout against a youthful
PSG - the former club of new Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
"We're looking to Mesut and giving him responsibility, and I think he
can take responsibility like a captain," said Emery, adding that he
would name Ozil as one of five or even six club skippers for the coming
"He and the other players had quality, good positioning I'm very
happy with how the players played... Tomorrow we're going to travel to
London but this week was very good for our preparation," said the
Ozil, in front of 50 000 fans at the International Champions Cup game
in Singapore, was quickly into his stride with midfield partner Henrikh
Mkhitaryan against a PSG line-up shorn of its World Cup stars.
He opened the scoring with a tap-in at the far post after Mkhitaryan
released Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in space and the Gabonese forward
passed back across the face.
Ozil's exquisite flick during a length-of-the pitch move nearly
produced Arsenal's second but Gianluigi Buffon saved well from Nigerian
forward Alex Iwobi.
The Italian great also denied Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, while at the
other end teenager Timothy Weah twice went close and Christopher Nkunku
curled one over.
After the break, an Nkunku free kick drew a flying save from Arsenal
substitute Emiliano Martinez, before Weah went down for a 59th-minute
penalty which Nkunku converted with aplomb.
But Lacazette hit back with two goals in four minutes - first a
sumptuous, near-post heel-flick which sailed past the nonplussed Buffon,
and then a close-range header.
Substitute defender Holding added the fourth with a towering header
on 87 minutes, before Nketiah swept home Arsenal's fifth with the last
kick of the game.
Emery's Arsenal, edged on penalties by Atletico Madrid on Thursday,
enjoyed their first high-profile win under Emery, who takes the reins
after Arsene Wenger's 22 years in charge.
Ozil, who is of Turkish heritage, sent shockwaves through Germany
this week when he quit the national team complaining of "racism and
disrespect" from football authorities.