Olivier Giroud's sending off prompted Arsene Wenger to experiment as he tried to find a way for Arsenal recover against Dinamo Zagreb.
Arsenal ended up losing 2-1, becoming the third English side to suffer defeat in their opening Champions League game.
Theo Walcott, on as a substitute, scored Arsenal's goal in the second half, but it was Mesut Ozil who took up more of a central forward role.
The German was a lively presence in attack, and actually offered the movement Olivier Giroud is unable to.
Ozil was playing in a position he is unaccustomed to for Arsenal, but has done so for Germany playing as a 'False Nine'. When Walcott was brought on for Sanchez, he simply slotted in for the Chilean out wide.
His role is not likely one Arsenal are likely to repeat by choice, but given their lack of options up front, it is a possibility they are pushed into doing so again.
Typically when Arsenal suffer a lacklustre defeat in Europe, Ozil is one of the first players to be criticised, but the effort he made in the second half saw him become one of the few players to emerge with any credit from the surprise defeat.
Here is a look at how fans reacted to his display...
Ozil making runs behind the defense because he realizes the need for it. But we want ozil making those passes not receiving it. #afc— Vimal Velayudham (@vimmsss) September 16, 2015
Ozil stepping up in this half. Wish the others would follow suit. #AFC— Alex Batt (@AlexBatt) September 16, 2015
Can't wait to see Ozil upfront with Theo and Sanchez flanking him on Sat— m (@4FC16) September 16, 2015