Arsenal: Ospina, Gabriel, Holding, Koscielny, Gibbs; Xhaka, Ramsey; Iwobi, Ozil, Perez; Sanchez.
Subs: Cech, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Lucas Perez netted his first hat-trick for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger’s men secured a 4-1 win away at Basel that, coupled with Ludogorets’ 2-2 draw against Paris Saint Germain, proved enough to secure top spot in Champions League Group A.
Kieran Gibbs assisted the Spaniard for all three of his goals and Alex Iwobi rounded off a fine move as the Gunners raced to a four-goal advantage before the hour-mark. Seydou Doumbia grabbed a late consolation for the Swiss who missed out on the opportunity to secure a spot in the Europa League.
Given Basel’s decent home record against English clubs in Europe, Arsenal might have been forgiven for expecting a fast a furious start from the hosts. Instead, the team in white happily sat back and watched Wenger’s men knock the ball around neatly.
In the blink of an eye – assuming it takes you 16 minutes to blink – the Gunners were two goals up. The build-up to the first goal featured a neat Alexis chipped pass to Gibbs whose precise cut-back from the byline was controlled by Lucas Perez who tapped home from a yard out. (1-0)
Amazingly the same duo combined to double the lead. After a delicious through ball by Ozil, Gibbs, who has been a delightful outlet on the left all season, hammered a low shot goalwards and the rebound fell straight to Perez who nabbed himself a second. The Spaniard, making his first ever Champions League start, looked almost apologetic in his celebrations. (2-0)
Two goals up so early, Arsenal understandably took their foot off the gas. At the other end, Basel started to produce chances. Ospina made an eye-catching save from a lad who was offside and another chap fired a decent effort wide on the diagonal. They also had a cross that nearly flew into the top corner; not that our man Dave gave a damn as he watched it sail over the bar with a ‘could not give a flying fuck’ nonchalance only rivalled by George Clooney in a Nespresso advert.
When called upon in earnest, Ospina did deliver some fun keeper showboating, pouncing like a cat on a loose ball that resulted from his own fumbled save. It was as if the Colombian was teasing the Swiss.
Within two minutes of the restart Lucas had his hat-trick…and again it was Kieran Gibbs with the assist. This time the left-back produced a defence splitting pass and the Spaniard tucked home on the run with his right foot. Three goals from three attempts, not half bad. (3-0)
With Basel shell-shocked, Arsenal decided to stick the knife in. Koscielny, Ramsey and Sanchez fed Ozil who teed up Alex Iwobi to score his first of the season. (4-0)
By the hour mark the biggest threat to a Gunners victory was the light mist that had wafted over the pitch. Would our players fall to the ground with a tickly cough or pulmonary tuberculosis? Thankfully no. Belated kudos to Vic Akers for listening to Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast and fielding us in the ridiculously OTT neon yellow shorts.
Just before being substituted, Alexis Sanchez smacked the bar with the best free-kick that hasn’t actually gone in this season. The Chilean completely bamboozled the Basel keeper with a swerving, dipping shot that pinged across the bar. The poor bloke couldn’t believe it hadn’t actually gone in.
The home crowd finally had something to cheer when Seydou Doumbia reduced the arrears with 13 minutes remaining. Taking advantage of Holding’s only major mistake of the game, the former Newcastle player played a tidy one-two and flicked the ball over Ospina. (4-1)
As news filtered in from Paris that Ludogorets had achieved an unlikely draw, Arsene Wenger could be seen in the dugout with a wry smile on his face. No doubt, he knows we’ll get a ridiculously difficult draw in the knockout stages despite coming top.
I love this Arsenal
I like the no-look pass Ozil gave to Iwobi for the 4th goal
PSG = Spuds in disguise?
Sp**s only finish 3rd in two horse races
Ludoregrets, they’ve had a few…
My cap is doth’d to you sir.
That is what you call a job well done. Bring on Bayern Munich! At least we’ll have the last leg at home.
As I recall we ground them down beautifully last year.
Sincilating performance. Top of the group. Now we can have the second leg at the home.
WE NEED TO BUY A WORLD CLASS STRIKER IN JANUARY WHO CAN SCORE GOALS.
I am sure glad we did not buy Cavani!
… or Vardy 🙂
I would thumb this up, but it’s currently at 100-0 and that just looks too beautiful to mess with.
It seems Wenger got everything spot on
This season in general proves the big man still has it. I’ve had plenty of inner arguments with Wenger, but fuck me sideways you can’t doubt the man’s ability to work miracles. From where we were 10 years ago – to the barren years (although we arguably played some of our prettiest football then) – to now. This is the best squad since The Invincibles, and even though most comparisons are unfair, how would this current team do against them? I say they’d give them a run for their money on good day!
More than Sanchez?? ?
I am pretty sure Alexis is the best world class striker we can possibly have atm.
We’re just on fire! Another excellent game! Well done to Perez for getting his hat-trick! Ludo Rug-rats did us a favour as well. Now we top the group, I hope we avoid a big team in the next round!
Well I will rooting for real m tomorrow.
2016 Eh? Who’d have thunk it, Brexit, Trump then Arsenal winning their group.
Signs of the end-times, maybe? If so, here’s hoping Arsenal go all the way before the inevitable nuclear holocaust does away with champions league football.
Please don’t mention Trump while I am enjoying our win. That will just bring me down.
One of these is not like the others.
Not bad for a panic buy. Fingers crossed for a good draw now.
Woohoo!! COYG!! I’m a happy man.
Spud goals in champions league = 3
Perez goals in 47mins = 3
Jamie Vardy goals in 24 appearances = 4
But that’s none of my business
Seeing the competition for scoring goals, Ozil goes back to his usual peerless business!
Hooray!!! Well done all! Top to bottom I love our whole squad. So glad we won the group, as I think we absolutely deserved it. I really disapprove of the first tiebreaker being head to head with away goals counting. I understand that in the knockout stages, but the winner should be rewarded for properly taking care of business throughout the entire group, which we clearly did with our far superior goal differential to PSG. Anyway, was feeling irked about this after the 2-2 draw and didn’t mention it then, so I’m glad it ended up not mattering one bit.… Read more »
Arsenal have gone through the group stage unbeaten for the first time since 2005-06 when they reached the final. Here’s hoping they will go one better this time. #COYG
So Bayern it is then.
or not 😉
Holding was really good barring the loss of focus towards the end!
Gibbs MotM for me
Top notch away performance in Europe, collected, calm and mature – these are the performances and results that make a team believe in themselves. I’m proud of the players and delighted for Lucas Perez. I’ll sleep happy.
Last time we ended our group unbeaten we reached the final….. 😉
Was great to see the smile on Iwobi’s face after that goal. Hasn’t been the smoothest champions league for him with that miss against PSG, then that own goal.
Overall, it was just such an enjoyable game to watch with that classic Arsenal fluidity. Now let’s just hope we don’t get a Bayern or Real
Let’s not worry who we get in the next round. Unless we win it all it really doesn’t matter if we play a team we can or should beat in the next round. I WANT IT ALL AND THAT MEANS SOONER OR LATER WE HAVE TO BEAT ALL WHO ARE LEFT.
Absolutely magical, delicious pass from Ozil to Iwobi for the fourth goal. Delighted for the lad – did you see how much that meant to him?
Hunger to destroy teams, amazing! Perez deserves a chance to start in the PL. Don’t care who has to take the bench, bar Alexis and Ozil ofc. Award anyone in form, motivates everyone even more. Who else thinks we are so much stronger when nearly everyone is fit? Has to be that boost in numbers on the training field increasing the performance every time.
Perez is definitely our 1st choice backup to start after sanchez. That through ball from iwobi to giroud typified the lack of pace we have in attack when he plays upfront. Not taking away anything from Giroud, he is a very good striker but the whole team needs to play a crossing game and we are just not that team. Flicks cannot be the only attacking weapon in our arsenal.
I am confident you can predict 99% of the time a way a team will setup to play the Arsenal. Arsene now has 2 or 3 different ways that are effective to put out against opponents. Giroud can certainly be up top against teams that we know will park 11 men behind the ball and defend defend defend. He is our best option when it comes to the hustle and bustle of the compacted defensive box. Against all other setups though, Sanches is the man and Perez is his backup. Been a long time since the Arse has had so… Read more »
summer signings shining – well Doumbia made a mess of Holding but did the Boss next so kudos to him – nice goal. Xhaka Lucas Holding with a very decent performance indeed
This season certainly looks different. Imagine we also had cazorla, Bellerin and welbeck.
If we go further in champions-league, it will certainly induce ozil and sanchez to sign new contracts.
well we should have cazorla and welbz back in full fitness for the knockout stages
Jeez if that’s the case, there could be some good players not even making the bench
Perez my guy! True definition of efficiency. How many shots translated to goals! Well done Gibbs for the assists.
As a french guy borned and raised very close to the german & swiss border in the early 70’s, i used to :
– follow Arsène Wenger since he trained his 1st prof team
– hate Paris SG and support any “country side team” able to defeat them
– party almost every week-end in Basel famous “Planet-E” club back in the good old days (1991, 92, 93, 94….)
Must admit it feels a bit like I’m high on something back in 1992 on the hardcore dancefloor !
Hell yeeeeeeessssssssss !!!! COYG !!!
Yea, after that, you can’t say no to Ozil and Sanchez’s contract demands. The more you examine their link up between them, the more their value skyrockets. Give them the moolah!!
Seriously the two of them together become even better than the considerable sum of their parts, mind blowing.
Good performance. Really happy for Lucas. why doesn’t he celebrate??
He had a Fourth cousin who used to play for Basel back in the 50’s. So out of respect..
Santiago barbeque…..it’s time to see what u lost in ozil… Bring on rm/bayern….this is our year?
Hahaha love this Arsenal. Up the Arsenal
Well that is probably the easiest hat trick I will ever see. For an encore Perez will have to score 4 drunk and sleepwalking. Well done.
They’re only easy if he’s there in the first place- sign of a quality forward. Can’t wait till he’s properly settled in!
The most fluid arsenal game this season.
Well, that report was even better than the game and the psg draw. At some point I was reading it with a ozzy man reviews accent, even better 😀
Did Arsenal just do a group stage undefeated?
With that efficiency Lucas deserves a start this weekend. A big thank you to Ludogorets for being just proper 🙂
If Madrid wins tomorow then it looks pretty decent as long as we avoid them germans. Now lets stuff those orcs in a bag and send em back to mordor come Saturday.
Think Juventus are still a possibility?
We could get Leverkusen. I would gladly accept that German side. Thanks, Spuds!
Our squad is the shit right now. Ox does the job, perez does the job, iwobi does the job, walcott does the job. I am really starting to believe this is the arsenal we have been waiting for. lotd of great playes very few weaknesses. COYG
Some wonderful football at times…Wished we had hit 5 too shut there stupid manager up further. But embarrassing them on there own patch will do. Perz is beginning to give me those Eduardo vibes.. I dont want to hype him too early etc, but what english Cb has looked better than Holding this season. The kid just comes in every now and again and is brilliant. He made one error in the build up to the goal but i think Kos and Gibbs could have done more to bail him out. Just watched an Ozil masterclass, he was running the… Read more »
Holy shit..that was fun?
Nice to see Perez and Holding get starts in a fairly important match (vs an EFL Cup match). Continue to be really impressed with Holding, yes he was beaten for the goal, but very composed and looks like he belongs out there. Happy for Perez as it’s been a tough start to his Arsenal career for him. Was very nice to see how excited Ozil and Sanchez were for him on all of his goals as those two often will not join in the celebrations. One thing I think all of us watching at home take for granted in so… Read more »
Gibbs was superb tonight. Over to you Nacho!
Getting past the last 16 is a big challenge, hopefully this time, we can do better.
The Ospina-not-giving-a-flying-fuck part is why I love reading to Arseblog. I always have a good laugh haha. Cheers from Alexis’ land, Chile
Refuse to believe the dribble that Perez isnt Arsenal material. He has impressed in many of his handful of games so far. Sure he aint no Sanchez, but he is a solid performer and I would much rather have him in the Arsenal squad then playing for a rival.
We have rediscovered scoring (lots of) goals again. Ozil is having a bumper year assisting directly into the net. Walcott can put them in as can Lucas. Alexis is a monster. The Ox can score some screamers. Iwobi is off his mark. We know Granit can send in the ocassional rocket. Chip in a couple more from the Cbacks and maybe from the attacking fullbacks, we can harvest a phenomenol amount of goals this eason. I believe we are top scorers in the league at present. Our tally in CL is DOUBLE that of PSG. DOUBLE.. Whya re people saying… Read more »
Fuck off November!