Wenger impressed with 'sick' Özil


The former Real Madrid man made his English Premier League debut as the Gunners beat Sunderland 3-1 at the Stadium of Light.

Özil took just 11 minutes to open up his assist account, setting up Olivier Giroud for the opening goal with a fantastic take-down and cross.

Craig Gardner equalised from the penalty spot on 48 minutes, but Aaron Ramsey scored two more to seal the win.

“It was especially good because he [Özil] was sick with a stomach bug yesterday,” Wenger says.

“His first half was outstanding, in the second half he dropped a bit physically but overall it was good.”

At 2-1 down Sunderland had a goal disallowed, after referee Martin Atkinson controversially pulled play back after a foul by Bacary Sagna on Jozy Altidore, and Wenger admits the hosts had Arsenal on the ropes for a while.

“There were plenty of chances on both sides,” he said. “We had a great first half and maybe it should be game over at half-time, but Sunderland came back with a great determination.

“We dropped a bit physically but at 1-1 we found the resources again.”

With Arsenal travelling to Marseille for Champions League encounter on Wednesday, injury concerns are paramount for Wenger.

Giroud was substituted after picking up a knee injury in the second half, and Santi Cazorla is out for two weeks with an ankle injury.

“We are on a very strong run, but we are a bit short because we have so many injured players and every player we lose makes it difficult.

“If Santi Cazorla had been fit, Özil would have been on the bench as he was sick and I wouldn’t have taken a gamble otherwise.

“Cazorla’s ankle problem means he will be out for a few weeks. I don’t think he will play before the next international break. Giroud has a knee injury and we are very thin now.”