Mesut Ozil shined in Arsenal’s demolition of Bournemouth last night as Unai Emery restored him to the side. The home fans got to see the best of their talisman as he bagged a goal and an assist as Arsenal cruised to a 5-1 win, keeping them in the top four.
But Ozil has not just received plaudits for his general play, but also his finishing. Often considered to be one of the weakest parts of his game, has he in fact invented a new way of finishing?
Ian Wright on Match of the Day explained:
"He kicks down on to the ball. He bounces it on purpose. He did it against Huddersfield and he kicked down on to it against Bournemouth.
"Instead of chipping it over a keeper he bounces it over him. You can see him telling everyone what he did. It's just such a brave finish for someone to do, it's brilliant. It's the Ozil."
Indeed, when you slow down the footage you can see him hit the ball into the ground, which loops it up over the oncoming Asmir Begovic when at first glance it looked like a chip. There are a couple of benefits to striking the ball like this rather than the conventional way.
Number one, the element of surprise. A conventional chip can usually be quite easy to read as the player has to slow down and get his foot right under the ball. This means often then keeper can predict this and stay standing rather than going to ground.
As Ozil shows, he does not have to change pace to pull off this shot and instead and surprise the keeper with this looping finish. The second reason is that the topspin this shot puts on the ball makes it almost impossible for defenders to clear off the line, unlike a normal chip which slows up as it heads towards goal, Ozil’s effort actually speeds up.
This bounce technique was first spotted at Euro 2012 as Ozil pulled off a bounce-pass, but as the video shows below, he has been finishing like this for some time.