Review: 5 Things We Learned As Mesut Ozil scores late winner as Gunners reach knockout stages

The Gunners were two goals down early on but were level by the interval and Ozil rounded off a fantastic night with a coolly-taken goal in t...

The Gunners were two goals down early on but were level by the interval and Ozil rounded off a fantastic night with a coolly-taken goal in the 87th minute

Arsenal recovered from a horrific start in Bulgaria to snatch a late win courtesy of an 87th minute Mesut Ozil goal.

Arsene Wenger’s side were two goals down within 15 minutes of the start as Jonathan Cafu and Claudio Keseru gave the hosts a hugely surprising advantage.

Granit Xhaka got one back for the visitors on the 20-minute mark before Olivier Giroud scored his third goal in two games shortly before the interval.

With the scores level at 2-2 at half-time Arsenal fancied their chances of going on to win but it took them until three minutes before the end of regulation time to edge ahead.

Ozil rounded the goalkeeper before coolly slotting home and sending Arsenal’s travelling fans into ecstasy.

Our man Adrian Kajumba was at the match. Here’s are five things he learned…

1. Arsene Wenger’s team selection

Arsene Wenger has made surprise Champions League gambles in the past but on one of the occasions a weakened team would have been no surprise he went as strong as he could.

Arsene Wenger sent a strong side out in Bulgaria

Arsene Wenger played his big guns in Bulgaria
Having admitted in the build-up Arsenal have “paid the price” for finishing second in their group too many times it was a clear sign of his determination to try and avoid that fate this time round.

2. Arsenal reach the knockout stages

Arsenal are through alongside PSG and both sides will now battle it out for top spot in the group.

An Arsenal win at the Emirates in the clash of the two later this month should seal the Gunners’ passage into the knockout stages as group winners.

3. Giroud proves his worth

He might lack the movement and pace of Alexis Sanchez but Olivier Giroud provided a reminder of his use to Arsenal.

Handed his first start of the season after a disrupted beginning to the campaign, Giroud marked it with a towering header.

Olivier Giroud scored Arsenal’s equaliser with a towering header

The Frenchman hasn’t played as regularly as he would have liked this season
He offers an aerial threat none of Arsenal’s other striker options do so still has a big part to play.

4. Arsenal’s maturity and strength of character

Arsene Wenger has talked up his team’s maturity and character while claiming this is the best group he has had for some years.

When they went 2-0 down at Ludogorets the Gunners faced a big test of the character Wenger is now convinced they possess.

Just like at Sunderland, when they hit back after being pegged back, they passed another acid test to clinch all three points.

5. November off to a great start

This month has traditionally never been good for Arsene Wenger and the first 15 minutes here were not promising.

However, Wenger’s charges recovered to clinch a morale-boosting win and get November off to a great start.




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GisthubArena: Review: 5 Things We Learned As Mesut Ozil scores late winner as Gunners reach knockout stages
Review: 5 Things We Learned As Mesut Ozil scores late winner as Gunners reach knockout stages
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