Football

Wenger: Oezil 
back to his best

Arsenal boss says fitness is key to his German star's form

EVERTON ARSENAL
2 5
Wayne Rooney 12, Oumar Niasse 90+3 Nacho Monreal 40, Mesut Oezil 53, Alexandre Lacazette 74, Aaron Ramsey 90, Alexis Sanchez 90+5

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes Mesut Oezil is back to his best after the German's star turn against Everton yesterday.

The Toffees dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League after Arsenal came from a goal down to earn an emphatic 5-2 victory at Goodison Park.

It all started so well for the hosts as Wayne Rooney curled a stunning 12th-minute opener into the net to give his side the lead - the strike coming almost 15 years to the day since a 16-year-old Rooney announced himself to the world with a remarkably similar goal against the same opposition.

Despite trailing, Arsenal dominated from then on, mustering 17 shots on goal in the first half alone, one of which was Nacho Monreal's equaliser from close range five minutes before the break.

Arsenal continued on the front foot after the interval, and took the lead in the 53rd minute via the head of Mesut Oezil.

LATE STRIKES

Idrissa Gueye was dismissed 15 minutes later after collecting a second yellow card, before a 74th-minute goal from Alexandre Lacazette and late strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, coming either side of an Oumar Niasse consolation, capped a comeback victory.

With the win, the Gunners moved up to fifth, ahead of Liverpool's clash with Tottenham Hotspur, and also piled the pressure on under-fire Everton boss Ronald Koeman.

When asked if Oezil was back to his best, Wenger said: "I would say yes. I told him after the game that a fit Oezil is completely different.

"If you're not 100 per cent at your best, no matter how good you are, you are at a handicap."

Oezil added: "We knew it would be difficult but we showed character.

"We believed in ourselves. In training, we always show our quality. Today you saw on the pitch."

Meanwhile, Koeman said his future is out of his hands.

The Dutchman said: "The decision is not in my hands. That's normal, that's football. We have played nine Premier League games against the first five of the Premier League last season.

"We are not in a league position that is good for Everton, I understand.

"I have been in football a long time, don't tell me what can happen, I don't think it's too late."

"It is not a time to start to be crazy. I am responsible for this team, it's a big result even against a team like Arsenal, we will see what happens."

Everton defender Michael Keane added: "We feel like we've let him (Koeman) down. We're working really hard to sort it out." - WIRE SERVICES

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