Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi revealed that he had asked Mesut Ozil to define the flight of the ball so that it gave the players the best chance to attack the delivery, the German centre-back said after Saturday's (18 November) Premier League win over Tottenham at the Emirates. The former Valencia man got on the end of a delightfully flighted free-kick from Ozil to give the Gunners the lead and make way for their first north London derby win over Tottenham in three years.
Mustafi was confident of Ozil's ability to find his man and it was down to him to find the back of the net, which he did adroitly, heading the ball in after coming back in from the post. Alexis Sanchez had initially won the free-kick after Davinson Sanchez was adjudged to have fouled him, albeit harshly.
However, Mustafi was very pleased with how things worked out, making his return after a groin injury which kept him out for the better part of a month.
"The thing is, as I was going up [Mesut Ozil] was on the other side of the pitch and I said, 'Mesut, please. Go to the ball and bring it in.' I know his left foot and I know his deliveries and if you have players that can put the ball in like that, you go in with belief," Mustafi told Arsenal's official website while describing the goal.
"That's the most important thing when you go up for corners and free-kicks, the belief that you can score, and with the team that we have and the quality that we have, you go in and try to get your head on the ball."
The Germany international also touched on the marginal offside call which they got away with for the goal, where Mustafi was seen to be starting ahead of the Tottenham players by the breath of a hair, if anything. However, he insisted that such events eventually even themselves out over the course of a season, like they received the bitter end of the stick against Manchester City last gameweek, when two goals conceded by the Gunners were deemed suspect.
"Well, I was only happy that they didn't blow the whistle. It happened to me against Chelsea, so this time, I'm lucky to get away with it. This is football, we always get things against us and things for us, and at the end of the year, it is always a draw, you get good things and bad things," he added.