Interview

Mustafi - How it feels to score in a derby

Shkodran Mustafi’s first north London derby goal was certainly one to remember.

Meeting Mesut Ozil’s out-swinging free-kick when Tottenham visited Emirates Stadium last November, the centre half directed an arcing header beyond Hugo Lloris and in, via the post.

So how did it feel?

on the atmosphere…
The atmosphere at the stadium was really on fire, so from the beginning it was really loud. Coming back from injury and playing in the derby, you’re a bit nervous, but obviously scoring takes all the pressure off your shoulders. It felt really good. 

on his goal…
The distance between me and the goal was not the closest, so I had to head it with speed to give the goalkeeper no chance to reach it. As soon as I made that contact, I knew that I had the right speed. When you look at the ball to see which way it goes, it looked pretty good. It went in, so I was very pleased with everything.

on how the goal was planned…
We did something differently in training. I kind of had the feeling that we needed something else, so I was speaking to Mesut on my way up. Mesut was on the other side and I asked him to take it away from goal. The day before, we said we wanted to take them towards goal, an in-swinger. I wasn’t that close to the goal, and when the ball is delivered from one side to the other, the goalkeeper goes with the ball. I knew that if I was to head it, I had to try and put it in the far post. 

on his reaction after scoring…
I remember that I made a quick turn to have a look at the linesman. I was not thinking about the celebration, I was just enjoying the moment and let myself go. Scoring in the north London derby, I know that it means a lot to a lot of people. Obviously that gives you that feeling that you give them something back. After the game I was more happy for the people than for my goal.