Mesut Ozil cast aside a tumultuous week to fire Arsenal to a 5-1 friendly win over Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
The German playmaker put Arsenal ahead in the 13th minute before substitute Alexandre Lacazette’s quickfire double and late strikes from Rob Holding and Eddie Nketiah sealed the big win for the Gunners against a youthful PSG side.
Ozil, who caused shockwaves in Germany last weekend after he quit international football citing racism and disrespect, was quickly into his stride with midfield partner Henrikh Mkhitaryan against a PSG line-up missing its World Cup stars.
The 29-year-old opened the scoring with a tap-in at the far post after good work from Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Captaining the side for the tie, Ozil’s exquisite flick during a length-of-the-pitch move nearly produced Arsenal’s second but Gianluigi Buffon saved well from Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi.
After the break, a Christopher Nkunku free-kick drew a flying save from Arsenal substitute Emiliano Martinez before Timothy Weah went down for a 59th-minute penalty which Nkunku converted.
But Lacazette hit back with two goals in four minutes — first a sumptuous, near-post heel-flick which sailed past Buffon, and then a close-range header.
Substitute defender Holding added the fourth with a towering header on 87 minutes before Nketiah swept home Arsenal’s fifth with the last kick of the game.