Arsenal 2 Marseille 0: Jack Wilshere is on the same path as Aaron Ramsey, but Mesut Ozil needs a goal – or even a rest?

Five things we learned during Arsenal's Champions League victory

Emirates Stadium

Wilshere travelling same long road as Ramsey

The example of Aaron Ramsey suggests that recoveries are long, but when they are complete, the results are obvious. That advises caution in the case of Jack Wilshere, who had his own long year out and is now on the long and arduous journey back to full fluency. So while there should be a pause before describing last night’s performance at the Emirates as the completion of this process – Arsène Wenger even said last week that the player is still feeling some pain in his ankle and must be managed until he does not – this was certainly a very good sight to see for Gunners’ fans.

Wilshere is not a natural right-midfielder but he played the role perfectly, darting down the line and inside Jeremy Morel before curling in the opener after 30 seconds, before running into the box to receive Mesut Ozil’s pass and scoring the second. It was the first time in his career he has scored twice.

Ozil a treat to watch. But he needs a goal – or even a rest?

Mesut Ozil is such a joy to watch, with his subtle touch and his ghostly feints, that you almost forget that he is trying to help his team to win a game. But last night, not for the first time recently, he was slightly inefficient when it came to scoring goals. Ozil should have had two in the dominant first half. His first touch to control a chipped pass from Aaron Ramsey was uncharacteristically clumsy, and when he took a penalty, his soft predictable kick was in no danger of fooling the opposition goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

None of which is to say that Ozil played poorly, because he played very well − and his pass for Wilshere’s second goal was delightful − but after an intense first three months in English football he seems like he is a player whose scoring instincts have been very slightly dulled. He needs a goal, or maybe even just a rest, but he would surely be better off with either.

Ozil sees his penalty saved by Mandanda (Getty) Ozil sees his penalty saved by Mandanda (Getty)

Rosicky lacks the muscles, but has all the guile

Tomas Rosicky might not quite have the muscularity or the profile of some of his midfield colleagues, but for the fourth consecutive Champions League game Wenger selected him, and was again rewarded. Rosicky rivals Ozil as Arsenal’s most intelligent footballer and his ability to keep the ball, sense space and fill in for others makes him a perfect pick in matches like last night’s.

Gunners supporters are turning back the clock

Wenger spoke before the game about the improved atmosphere at the Emirates, how the old anxieties had been rather neutralised by recent successes. There was even some novel call-and-response work between the designated “North Bank” and “Clock End” sections of the ground. Whether it survives the high-stakes spring-time football which Arsenal have in front of them, only time will tell.

Marseille’s starting line-up left much to be desired

This was not the best advertisement for the Champions League group stage. Marseille are the biggest club in France and yet for them this game was so futile that they left their best players on the bench, improving markedly when Mathieu Valbuena and Florian Thauvin came on in the second half. Of course, they have Montpellier on Friday and need to win. But it made you wonder what they thought the point was.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders