We all know about Mesut Özil by now. The 24-year-old playmaker is the truth. From the moment he first took the pitch for Arsenal last month, he's been setting up goals for his teammates, even though he's been unable to find the net himself since moving from Real Madrid. But that finally changed today in the eighth minute of Arsenal's Champions League group stage match against Italian side Napoli.
Right back Bacary Sagna started the move when he chipped in a ball to striker Olivier Giroud, who held up play against the sideline against Napoli's left back. Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who originally checked toward Sagna for the shorter pass, turned, lost his man, streaked past Giroud along the sideline. Giroud played it into Ramsey's path, who carried the ball into the box unmarked. He picked his head up, saw Özil arriving late at the top of the box, and fired a hard pass across. With his first touch, Özil side-footed the pass into the top corner of the net.
The finish, like a lot of what Özil does, looked casual, easy. It wasn't. The ball was bouncing with pace and spin. Most players wouldn't have even thought of striking it with their first touch, especially with the amount of time and space that Özil had at the top of the box. But the German didn't need it, and was able to beat Napoli keeper Pepe Reina at the far post before he could get set. Incredible passing, incredible finish.
Seven minutes later, Özil assisted Arsenal's second goal when the Gunners once again broke down Napoli's left side. Özil got to the end line and split two defenders with a pass, which Giroud tapped home from the goalmouth.
The Gunners won, 2-0.