By Tony Hughes

Theo Walcott has hailed the defensive part of Mesut Ozil’s game as well as paying tribute to the German’s vision and creativity.

Ozil set up Arsenal’s two goals – for Walcott and Olivier Giroud – as Arsenal defeated Manchester City by 2-1 in Monday night’s Premier League clash.

It gives the Gunners a four-point cushion over their title rivals and leaves them just two adrift of leaders Leciester in second place.

Ozil has now supplied 15 Premier League assists this season, eight more than his closest rival, and is now just five short of Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League campaign.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme, afterwards, Walcott was in no doubt about the value of Ozil to Arsenal.

Walcott said: “The amount that he gives to this team, the threat going forward. But, not just that, defensively as well. He puts a shift in. People will not see that side of the game but which has changed completely in the whole squad. Everyone is working so hard.”

Red hot: Theo Walcott opened the scoring for Arsenal against Man City

Red hot: Theo Walcott opened the scoring for Arsenal against Man City

Ozil is enjoying comfortably his best run of form since joining Arsenal from Real Madrid for a club-record £40million in the summer of 2013 and Walcott says his team-mate is a joy to play with.

“The thing about Mesut is he sees things that other players don’t see on the pitch. He knows what he’s going to do before you do it, you just have to make that run.

“When you’ve got special players on the pitch that provide special moments in a match, it makes our job so much easier.

“Obviously, it’s a team game but you need these players in your team if you want to continue what we are doing at this moment in time.”