LONDON - Mesut Ozil's first goal for Arsenal inspired his side to an impressive 2-0 win over Napoli that maintained their 100 per cent start in the Champions League yesterday.
Ozil, signed for a club record STG42.5 million ($F126 million) from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day, had promised to add more goals to his undoubted creative talent and the German midfielder was as good as his word with a superb strike to break his Arsenal duck early in the first half at the Emirates Stadium.
He turned provider soon after, setting up French striker Olivier Giroud for his sixth goal of the season to effectively kill off Napoli with just 15 minutes gone.
Arsene Wenger's side have now taken six points from their first two Group F fixtures, while also surging to the top of the Premier League with five successive wins.
It is a remarkable transformation since a shock opening day defeat against Aston Villa prompted a furious reaction from the Emirates faithful.
Wenger had no reason to fear the boo-boys on another encouraging night for his emerging team and he was even able to leave England midfielder Jack Wilshere on the bench for the first 60 minutes.
"The first half was amazing, absolutely fantastic. Everything was in there. All that you dream to see when you come to watch football," Wenger said.
"I felt that we played at a good pace, technically very direct and finished with great goals."
Napoli boss Rafael Benitez added: "You have a team like Arsenal with this level and this quality sometimes they can play well and it is hard to beat them."
Arsenal's early-season form has prompted suggestions that a title challenge could be brewing in north London.
But Wenger might well be willing to sacrifice domestic success if he could guarantee winning the Champions League after this week describing his quest to land the one major trophy missing from his collection as an obsession.
While it is too early for any bold predictions of Arsenal glory in Europe, on this evidence the Gunners boss can at least expect a better showing in the competition than in recent years.