Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised “fighter” Mesut Ozil after the German inspired the Gunners to a dominant win against Huddersfield.
Ozil scored one goal and provided two assists as Arsenal made it seven wins from seven Premier League home games this season.
The midfielder, who has been linked with a move away in January, is showing a different side to his game, according to Wenger.
“Nobody has to convince us he’s a great football player,” said the Frenchman.
“Everybody knows in the stadium he’s a great football player, but at the moment as well he shows he can fight.
“When you look at the percentage of possession during a game, no matter what the game is, he always wants the ball. He never hides, he’s always available.”
‘Unstoppable’ Ozil at his best
Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal an early lead with a confident finish after being put through by Aaron Ramsey’s clever flick.
The visitors went close to an equaliser when Petr Cech pushed Steve Mounie’s shot onto the bar not long after the restart.
But Arsenal scored three goals in four minutes to end Huddersfield’s hopes of getting a surprise result.
Ozil played a one-two with Alexis Sanchez before the former teed up substitute Olivier Giroud to convert from six yards out.
Soon after, Sanchez made it three with a volley from Ozil’s lofted pass.
Ozil capped a superb individual display with a goal, placing the ball beyond Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl after being put through by Ramsey, before Giroud’s close-range finish in the final minutes completed the rout.
“Ozil is unstoppable against this sort of opposition,” said former Arsenal striker Ian Wright on Match of the Day.
“He is energised at the moment and he has so much ability. He’s a beautiful player to watch.”
Arsenal, who remain fourth, host second-placed Manchester United on Saturday, while Huddersfield drop to 14th.
Arsenal’s superb home run continues
The Gunners had won their 11 previous Premier League games on home soil prior to the visit of Huddersfield, a run stretching back to April.
Against a side that had not won away from home since the opening game of the season, win number 12 for the hosts always seemed likely, a view that was only enhanced when Lacazette struck after just three minutes.
The early goal hinted at a long night for the visitors, but Arsenal – initially – failed to build on it. They laboured for more than an hour against a disciplined Terriers side, misplacing passes in defence and leaving gaps that more clinical sides than Huddersfield would have exploited.
But when the second goal arrived on 68 minutes, the Huddersfield defence wilted and, with Giroud also hitting the post and Sanchez shooting over from close range, the win could have been even more comprehensive.
The victory for Arsenal, who have now scored 20 goals in seven home games and conceded just four, sets them up nicely for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s side this weekend. Should the Gunners win that game then they will move to within a point of United.
Strong November bodes well for the future
November has traditionally been Arsenal’s worst month under Wenger.
Prior to this season, the Gunners’ averaged 1.59 points per game in the penultimate month of the year but, encouragingly, there’s been no post-Halloween slump from Wenger side this time.
Wednesday’s win was their third in four games this month, with their only loss a 3-1 defeat at Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Consistency has been Arsenal’s problem this term and keeping their November form going will be crucial to their aspirations for the season.
With their home form strong, Wenger’s attention will turn to improving results on the road. Four of their six away games in the Premier League so far this season have ended in defeat.
Terriers showed fight, but lack of bite a concern
Huddersfield deservedly earned plaudits for giving Premier League leaders Manchester City a scare on Sunday, with only Raheem Sterling’s fortuitous goal in the closing stages denying the Terriers a point.
Against a side boasting such a formidable home record, and with a trip to Everton coming up on Saturday, David Wagner perhaps saw this weekend’s game as the more winnable of the two fixtures this week, a view reinforced by the fact he made six changes for the trip to Arsenal.
To Huddersfield’s credit, they competed well after falling behind and arguably should have been level long before Giroud doubled the Gunners’ lead.
Collin Quaner, making his first Premier League start, was let down by poor control when he was through on goal in the first half, before the forward’s low drive was well held by Cech. Chris Lowe also hit the side-netting with a free-kick.
But it is now more than 10 hours without an away goal for Huddersfield, who have hit the back of the net just nine times all season. Only the bottom two sides in the Premier League have scored fewer.
Man of the match – Mesut Ozil
What they said
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “We started well but then we lost our focus and our passing and allowed them to come back into the game.
“Then we got the second goal and suddenly everyone played with more freedom and more technical quality – then Mesut Ozil showed what he can do.”
Huddersfield boss David Wagner: “If you are to get something out of these games you have to put our opponents under pressure and score. Goals change games.
“It isn’t a surprise it is getting difficult in the Premier League, it was difficult from the beginning. I think we can still be satisfied with the position we are in at the moment. To lose against Arsenal as Huddersfield Town away from home, it isn’t a surprise.
“We have learnt from our experiences on Sunday and today. We have had two defeats, they probably shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody but we learn from these defeats and we are mentally strong enough to put this behind us.”
Lacazette loves a goal at home – the stats
- Arsenal have now won their past 12 home league games in a row, last enjoying a longer run between February and November 2005 at Highbury (13).
- Huddersfield have failed to score in seven consecutive away games in all competitions – their longest ever such run.
- Alexandre Lacazette scored his fifth home Premier League goal of the season – no other player has more on their own turf (level with Rooney, Sane, Salah, Lukaku and Jesus).
- There have been seven goals scored in the opening three minutes of Premier League games this season, with Lacazette scoring two of those.
- With a goal and two assists, Mesut Ozil was directly involved in three goals in a Premier League game for the first time in his career.
- Ozil has assisted Olivier Giroud 14 times in the Premier League – only two players have assisted another more often for Arsenal in the competition (Robert Pires to Thierry Henry, 17, and Thierry Henry to Freddie Ljungberg, 15).
- Olivier Giroud has scored 16 goals as a substitute in the Premier League, the fourth highest tally in the competition (Jermain Defoe 23, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Kanu 17).
Arsenal host Manchester United on Saturday (17:30 GMT) while Huddersfield are on the road again on the same day as they head to Everton (15:00 GMT) in what is set to be Sam Allardyce’s first game as Toffees boss.