Mesut Ozil showed Arsenal coach Unai Emery just what he has to offer, scoring one goal and setting up another to help spark a 5-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Making only his second league start of 2019, Ozil scored the opener after just four minutes with a delicate finish over goalkeeper Artur Boruc, and then set up the second for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the 27th.
Mkhitaryan added two assists of his own in the second half but Ozil made perhaps an even bigger statement after being repeatedly dropped by Emery in recent months over concerns about his defensive work rate. This performance showed Emery has two playmakers in top form to choose from going into Saturday’s crucial North London Derby against third-place Tottenham.
Bournemouth pulled a goal back through Lys Mousset in the 30th after capitalizing on an error by Matteo Guendouzi, but Arsenal restored the two-goal cushion just after the break. Mkhitaryan cut in from the right and squared for Laurent Koscielny, whose shot took a deflection and bounced over Boruc and crossed the line before the goalkeeper could palm it back out.
Bournemouth came close to getting another goal back but Dan Gosling’s long-distance shot was deflected onto the crossbar.
Mkhitaryan then got his second assist minutes later when he played Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clear through on goal, and the striker calmly rounded Boruc before slotting into an empty net for his 16th league goal of the season.
Substitute Alexandre Lacazette added the fifth with a free kick in the 78th.
The win kept Arsenal in fourth place, while Bournemouth remained in 12th.