The north Londoners went behind in Austria shortly after the half-time break following a mistake from their usually dependable goalkeeper, who presented the ball to Rapid’s attackers when trying to play out from the back.
That allowed Taxiarchis Fountas an easy finish from close range as the hosts took an unexpected lead, and Leno made another gaffe not long after that nearly presented an open goal to Rapid.
But Arsenal responded through David Luiz, who got on the end of Nicolas Pepe’s excellent delivery and headed the ball past the stranded Rapid goalkeeper.
Just five minutes later they took the lead for the first time after a lovely pass from Mohamed Elneny set Hector Bellerin free down the right and the Spaniard squared for fellow sub Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to tap in.
Arsenal never really looked troubled after taking the lead and Ozil – who was left out of both the Europa League and Premier League squad – was delighted with the turnaround as he live-tweeted during the match.
‘Nice to start with three points!’ wrote the German on Twitter, nominating Aubameyang, David Luiz, Elneny and full debutant Thomas Partey as his four potential man-of-the-match contenders.
‘Good job guys!’
After Leno’s mistake, he tagged the keeper and wrote: ‘Chin up Bro! We still have enough time to turn this around guys! Come on Gunners!!’
Despite his Arsenal career appearing to be all but over, Ozil seemed very invested in the match and even had time to make a little joke at the expense of Rapid goalkeeper Richard Strebinger, who was wearing Petr Cech-style headgear.
‘What a week for my friend Petr Cech,’ wrote the 32-year-old, who played alongside the Czech during his time at the Emirates.
‘On Tuesday: Named in Chelsea’s Premier League squad for 2020/21. Thursday: Starting for Rapid Vienna against his former club. Congrats bro!’