Danny Murphy believes that Mesut Özil was bullied out of Sunday’s North London Derby by Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele. The pundit was full of praise for the Belgian midfielder following the 1-1 draw at the Emirates.
It wasn’t the ideal result for Arsenal in Sunday’s North London Derby. The 1-1 draw was the third time in a row that a Premier League match between the two clubs finished even. A Kevin Wimmer own goal was cancelled out by a Harry Kane penalty in the second half to leave things all square in North London.
Despite his heroics in Europe the game before, Mesut Özil was noticeably absent during the match. The German has taken on more of an attacking role and plays higher up the pitch this season but he received far less of the ball than we’re used to seeing.
Now, pundit Danny Murphy has criticised the World Cup winner for his display, claiming that Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele effectively nullified Özil.
“This is the type of form he [Dembele] showed last year and what he’s capable of,” Murphy told BBC Sport.
“Maybe he doesn’t do it often enough but when he plays like this it’s very hard to stop him.
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“Many times in the game he got Spurs from defensive areas to attacking areas.
“Defensively he’s very strong – he’s added this to his game – when he came to Fulham he was actually a winger.
“Now he’s turned into a strong, powerful defensive midfielder and knocks [Mesut] Özil off the ball like a little boy.”
Mousa Dembele was the best player on the pitch on Sunday afternoon. The Belgian was solid defensively and perhaps carried Spurs’ biggest threat in attack. Mesut Özil has certainly had better matches in recent weeks and looked a little tired at times. Hopefully the German can rest over the international break and get back to his best against Manchester United in just under two weeks.