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English Premiership

Wenger defends Ozil form

OZIL-NAPOLILONDON, England, February 11- Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has jumped to the defence of midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has come under some criticism following his performance in the 5-1 loss to Liverpool.

The Gunners were made to look amateur by an incisive and devastating first 20 minutes from the Reds at Anfield on Saturday in which they went four goals up, before adding a fifth in the second half.

Ozil, in particular, was harried and hassled off the ball for the third goal, while Coutinho intercepted a lame pass from the German to put Sturridge through on goal for the fourth.

However, Wenger does not believe 25-year-old should be singled out for his display as the entire Arsenal side were below-par over the weekend.

“It’s always a disappointment to lose a game but we’ve been very stable defensively; we’d just been on a 10-game unbeaten run so you can’t see one game as a trend. It’s down to the team to respond in a positive way,” said the Frenchman.

“Mesut Ozil? He was like everybody on Saturday – he was not in a good day. There’s nobody really to ostracise from that game – we are just conscious we were not good enough.

“He didn’t have the best of games, but that can happen. He works very hard to adapt to the physical level of the Premier League and for me he is an exceptional player.

“I wouldn’t like to put too much pressure on him because he has been a top-class player until now. He knows when he is not good enough he will get questioned – that is normal.”

TEAMtalk Media

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