Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil to bounce back after his missed penalty against Bayern Munich on Tuesday - and compared him to club legend Dennis Bergkamp.
The German has come in for plenty of criticism following his missed spot-kick and all-round performance against the Bundesliga leaders.
After Ozil missed the chance to put Arsenal 1-0 up the last 16 Champions League tie, Bayern went on to secure a 2-0 victory that leaves the north London side with a a huge task going into the second leg at the Allianz Arena next week.
Wenger has moved to back his record buy, insisting that he'll be back to his best sooner rather than later.
“At the moment you have to let him recover from that,” he said.
“I had examples before with people like Dennis Bergkamp, who missed an important penalty in 1999 [against Manchester United] and refused afterwards to take any.
“Incidentally, he gets a statue on Saturday so it doesn't take a statue away from you. Some other people don't mind [when they miss] and do it again. It depends on how you feel and how much you want it.
“Ozil apologised after the game but I don't think people are shocked by the fact that he missed a penalty because Bayern missed one as well. He takes his penalties in an unusual way so people are maybe a little bit less [understanding] but everybody can miss penalties.
“Ozil is a classy player and on a longer period class always tells.”
After starting brightly Arsenal's gameplan soon fell apart on Tuesday after Kieran Gibbs limped off with an injury and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for bringing down Arjen Robben in the box.
That left Wenger with one sub for the remainder of the game - and the Frenchman has defender his decision to withdraw Santi Cazorla rather than Ozil in the second half.
“I left him on because he's one of the few players who can go from far, from distance, when you're down to 10 men,” he said. “[He can go] a long way with the ball into the opponents’ half.”
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