Lucas Perez netted a hattrick as Arsenal stormned past Basel in a convincing 4-1 victory in the Champions League. Also the Gunners were rewarded with the top position in their group as PSG drew against Ludogorets.
The Arsenal manager has often been accused of not delivering at the crunch time, but he decided to field a strong team at Basel. Gunners started in their crisp fashion and Basel were no match for them.
The movement, passing and work rate eclipsed the home team and they got the reward in the 8th minute as Lucas Perez scored a tap in from a Gibbs drilled cross. Lucas Perez again doubled Arsenal’s lead on 16th minute. Xhaka ran the midfield exquisitely and Gibbs was outstanding in terms of his offensive contributions. Lucas got his hattrick just after the restart, making him 6th Arsenal player to have a hattrick in the Champions League. Alex Iwobi added another for the Londoners from a swift move and Ozil added his assist tally as well. Seydou Doumbia gave the home supporters something to cheer when he scored a goal for Basel, but it was nothing more than a mere consolation. In the end Arsenal comfortably won the match 4-1 and moved to the knock out round.
Arsenal’s result was boosted with the scenes in Paris, as PSG were surprisingly held by a superb Ludogorets side, making Arsenal the group winners which they achieved since the 2011-12 season for the very first time. Loss means that Basel are out of Europe this season.
Basel vs Arsenal highlights:
Basel: Vaclik; Suchy, Lang, Traore, Alvarez; Xhaka, Die (Zuffi); Delgado (Doumbia), Elyounoussi (Calla), Steffen; Janko.
Arsenal: Ospina; Gabriel, Holding, Koscielny, Gibbs; Xhaka, Ramsey (Giroud); Iwobi, Ozil (Walcott), Perez; Sanchez (Elneny).
Wenger was thrilled with the performance and hailed his squad for delivering an outstanding display in a freezing night at Basel.
He said: “We had a small chance to finish first tonight. After (playing) PSG, we said ‘we have one game to finish first’ and we did the job tonight and PSG have not. It’s important to finish first because we have the second game at home – so we will see the draw.”