Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has hailed Mesut Ozil’s strike against Newcastle on Saturday as being reminiscent of one of Zinedine Zidane’s greatest moments.
With 45 minutes of the 2002 Champions League final played, Zidane, who was turning out for Real Madrid, smashed home an incredible volley at Hampden to help the Spaniards to a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Cech believes that Ozil’s goal – the only one of the weekend’s game – was a similar type of effort.
“It was a fantastic goal,” he told the club’s official website. “It made me think of the Zidane goal in the Champions League final in Glasgow against Leverkusen. The ball went the other way but the technique was a moment of brilliance which literally won the game.
“He had a fantastic game.”
Ozil is out of contract next summer, which means he can begin negotiations with teams on January 1. He is a figure who has split opinion at the Emirates Stadium, with Cech defending the performances of his team-mate earlier in the campaign.
“I think sometimes people forget that when you play for a top national team then you play every week, play every summer, have a short break and you carry on, carry on, carry on – I think the first few months of the season the fatigue caught up with him. You could see he was as not as sharp as he is now which I think he benefits from,” the keeper said.
Meanwhile, the former Chelsea shot-stopper is closing in on his 200th Premier League cleansheet and wants to reach the milestone against Liverpool on Friday.
“A few weeks ago, I hoped that, with so many games coming up before Christmas, that the Liverpool game would be the one where I could actually get the 200th, so it’s going to plan,” he said.
“Hopefully we can get a win and obviously the clean sheet, but the win will be more important."