Mesut Ozil has responded to criticism of his performance against Bayern Munich by revealing he suffered a hamstring injury in just the second minute of Arsenal’s clash with the German champions.
The former Real Madrid playmaker was painted as the scapegoat as the Gunners failed to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit, eventually losing 3-1 on aggregate despite earning a creditable draw at the Allianz Arena.
Ozil struggled to make an impact in the opening 45 minutes and was withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring injury that will rule him out of this weekend’s north London derby.
“Now it's clear: during the Champions League match against FC Bayern I suffered a muscle injury in the second minute,” he wrote on his official Facebook page.
“I tried to give my best and played until the end of the first half. Rest assured that I'll be back even stronger!”
Ozil is yet to receive the results of scans that will reveal whether or not he will be able to return in time to make a significant impact during Arsenal’s testing run-in which sees them host Manchester City as well as travel to Chelsea and Everton, while they are also due to face Wigan at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final next month.
Next up for Arsenal, meanwhile, is the north London derby against Tottenham and Goal understands the Gunners will also be without Aaron Ramsey for the trip to White Hart Lane.
The Wales international is believed to be progressing slower than expected from a thigh injury and is not now expected to return to action until Arsenal's Premier League clash with Chelsea.