Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker both started for Germany as they defeated Austria 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier. Both Arsenal men played well, though neither figured in the scoring on either side.
Özil was one of Germany's better players in the attack, though he didn't get on the scoresheet. His movement and passing ability were evident, and he had a few of the standout plays you may have come to expect if you've been watching YouTube videos for the past week. He had one signature backheel in the box that almost led to a first-half chance; he also played a spectacular throughball to Marco Reus coming in from the left flank that did lead to a scoring chance. Reus didn't put it home, but it was a great move. Overall, Özil was impressive.
Özil’s full match stats: 99% pass accuracy. 50% aerial duels won. 87 touches. 1 shot, 1 foul, 2 dribbles. @WhoScored rating: 7.1.— Ashburton Gröve (@ashburton_grove) September 6, 2013
"99% pass accuracy." Put your pants back on. Honestly he wasn't at his best, but he was certainly good enough to keep my excitement momentum going.
Mertesacker had the game you would expect him to have. He got punished a few times for being tall with some questionable fouls, but for the most part was resolute and positioned himself well to break up play and remove options from the Austrian attack. He won over half his aerial duels, and earned the same WhoScored rating, for whatever that's worth.
All in all, since neither one was injured, it was a good result. That both played well was just icing on the cake. Hopefully they can now rest for the remainder of the week.