LONDON (AP) — Arsenal record-signing Mesut Ozil made a potent impact in his home debut on Sunday, setting up all three goals in a 3-1 victory over Stoke to put his new team top of the Premier League.
After just two games, the Germany playmaker has started to repay the 50 million euros ($66 million) Arsenal paid Real Madrid.
"He gave a lift to everybody at the club," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "The only thing of our position at the moment is that we are in a position where we can focus on improvement in a stable environment."
Ozil's free kick after five minutes was parried by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Aaron Ramsey stabbed the ball into the net from the rebound for his seventh goal in as many games.
United States defender Geoff Cameron leveled with his first Stoke goal, striking the rebound into the net after Marko Arnautovic volleyed against the post.
But Per Mertesacker restored Arsenal's lead in the 36th minute by darting in to meet Ozil's corner with a header.
Bacary Sagna was on the end of another Ozil set piece in the 72nd, heading in from the free kick to round off a routine victory.
"When you play against Stoke you don't expect to score three goals from set pieces and that is basically the biggest surprise to me today," Wenger said. "It shows as well how important the delivery is. (Ozil) is a player, when you look at his numbers, the assists are not a coincidence — it's just the reality of his game.
"I believe that once he is completely integrated we'll see even more of him but he has shown today that he is a great player."
After the despondency at the Emirates Stadium following the opening day loss to Aston Villa, Arsenal quickly put its season on the right track to make a mockery of the early crisis talk.
Arsenal has also started strongly in the Champions League, opening the group stage with a 2-1 win at Marseille on Wednesday.
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