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Mesut apologises for penalty miss

OZIL-FACELONDON, February 21- Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has apologised to the club’s supporters after squandering a penalty in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The German playmaker had an opportunity to put Arsenal ahead in the last 16 first-leg match with an early penalty, but his tame spot-kick was saved by international team-mate Manuel Neuer.

After Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had been sent off, Bayern went on to prevail through second-half goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, leaving the reigning champions in a commanding position ahead of the second leg on March 11.

“The next morning doesn’t feel better either,” Ozil wrote on his official Facebook page. “Sorry guys – it wasn’t planned that way. Outnumbered it was really hard to win against this team.”

Ozil, a club-record £42.5 million ($70.7 million, 51.6 million euros) signing from Real Madrid last year, was roundly criticised in the British media following a lacklustre display in the game.

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov suggested that the 25-year-old’s poor performance may have been down to fatigue.

Speaking to reporters as he left the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, he said: “Ozil was not (playing) at his capacity, maybe because he is tired.”

However, Ozil’s team-mate and international colleague Per Mertesacker believes that the former Werder Bremen schemer is still finding his feet in north London.

“We have a lot of games here in England and everyone is tired, but it is not just up to Mesut,” said the centre-back.

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“It is up to everybody to encourage and come back. During the game we all need to encourage each other. Mesut has played a lot of games and he is a massive player.

“We need him at his best. Game by game, he will come back stronger.”

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