Former Arsenal forward defends Mesut Ozil for Barcelona performance

Arsenal transfer news Granit Xhaka

The former Arsenal player Charlie Nicholas has defended Mesut Ozil for his muted performance against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

Ozil was widely criticized for his role in his sides 2-0 defeat however, the SkySports pundit instead pinned the blame on Olivier Giroud’s tendency to drop into deeper positions.

“The thing that frustrated me was that you’d have to ask why (Olivier) Giroud wanted to keep coming back?” Charlie Nicholas told SkySports.

“Arsenal ended leaving Mesut Ozil up front and when they were launching the ball out, it keeps coming back because he doesn’t have that presence.”

Ozil went into the game with the best assist record in England (17) but was unable to setup a goal against Barcelona although he did create two goal scoring chances.

The Germany international has now gone nine Champions League games without providing an assist but it would be harsh to criticise him considering he has created 105 chances this season.

Arsenal will have to beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou by two goals or more to stand any chance of making it to the next round.

Arsenal are however, joint second in the Premier League just two points behind leaders Leicester City.

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