Within seven minutes, the game was effectively over. By 20 minutes, there was not a shred of doubt about it. Manchester United were obliterated by Arsenal - and Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, in particular, were all majestic on an afternoon that will be remembered for a long time at the Emirates Stadium.
While the world-class Sanchez will deservedly take the plaudits after another Man of the Match performance for the Gunners - the Chile international is certainly one of Arsene Wenger’s best-ever signings - Ozil also deserves a huge amount of credit for his part in the demolition of Louis van Gaal’s men.
However, Arsenal fans have every right to wonder why Ozil hasn’t been able to produce this level of performance on a weekly basis - or more regularly than he has managed up to now, at least - since arriving in north London just over two years ago.
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The former Real Madrid superstar, who cost Arsenal a club-record £42.5 million fee, has long frustrated the Gunners faithful - particularly in the so-called big games.
But today, against a team many expect will be fighting it out for a top-four finish at the end of the season, the Germany international proved he’s more than capable of delivering when it matters most.
Ozil: Majestic against Man United
Ozil set up Sanchez’s first goal and then got himself on the scoresheet a minute later with a wonderful finish past David de Gea.
Wenger said after last weekend’s 5-2 win over Leicester City that Ozil was “really upset” with himself in the King Power Stadium dressing room after failing to score his first goal of the season.
But the World Cup winner will be delighted with his afternoon’s work today, as will the Arsenal supporters - and rightly so.
Ozil must produce a similar performance v Bayern
The task Ozil now faces is proving today wasn’t merely a one-off, and he will have the opportunity to do just that after the international break, when Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in a Champions League match they now can’t afford to lose.
Ozil produced two of his worst performances in an Arsenal shirt against the German club during his debut season at the Emirates, and it’s safe to assume he’ll be desperate to make amends for those shockers this time around.
Ozil's world-class talent hasn't deserted him
It’s been a little while since Ozil was talked about as one of European football’s best No. 10s - he was widely considered as the best during his three years at the Bernabeu - but, if he can use today as a platform, there’s no reason why the German won’t be universally regarded as a genuine world-class playmaker once more.
Arsenal fans: are you frustrated that Mesut Ozil has been able to produce this level of performance on a weekly basis? Can he build on this now? Have your say in the comments below!
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