Unai Emery explains why he substituted Mesut Ozil after his impressive performance.
Arsenal was again on the wrong end of a result after they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Liverpool who fielded a largely inexperienced side.
The Gunners were the better and more experienced side in the game but Liverpool’s young side showed tenacity to take the game to penalties after an entertaining 5-5 draw.
Despite the defeat, one of the positives on the night was the performance of Mesut Ozil. The German returned to the starting line up and played a blinder.
Ozil impressed greatly in the game with his range of passing, pressing and overall contribution. He was easily the Gunners’ best player as they almost landed their first win at Anfield in ten attempts.
The German was substituted in the 65th minute and his removal coincided with a characteristic collapse from Arsenal. It also has to be said that the fans were left shocked by the decision to take their best player on the field out.
The Spaniard, however, had a reasonable explanation. He claims that he was impressed with Ozil’s game and thought he should rest him for the game against Wolves.
“[Ozil] played as we want, with experience and his skill to help the team,” he said.
“We decided beforehand that it was better for him to have a rest. He worked really well for 65 minutes.
“In my mind is the possibility to use him again [in the Premier League].”
Ozil must now be in contention for a starting spot at the weekend. It will be very difficult for Emery to leave the playmaker out. If the German does not start against Wolves then I am certain there will be a reaction from the fans.