Arsenal beat FC Basel to top group, as PSG slip up at home to Ludogorets
Arsenal beat FC Basel 4-1 at St. Jakob-Park tonight in the UEFA Champions League, with Lucas Perez hitting a hat-trick. Alex Iwobi scored the Gunners other goal in a comfortable win.
With Paris Saint-Germain only drawing 2-2 at home to Ludogorets in Paris, the Gunners go through to the last 16 as Group A winners.
Ludogorets, led twice in Paris and, although Angel di Maria equalised late on, the Bulgarian minnows held on to seal a place in the Europa League.
Arsenal will hope to be rewarded next Monday with an ‘easier’ draw in the last 16 of the competition.
The Gunners have been beaten at the first knockout stage in each of the past six seasons.
Arsenal could still draw Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen or Benfica. Whilst Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are competing head-to-head for first and second place in their group when they meet tomorrow night.
The other teams the Gunners could draw are Porto or Copenhagen, and one of Juventus, Sevilla or Lyon.
Arsenal have gone through the group stage unbeaten for the first time since 2005-06 – when they reached the final.
The Gunners took the lead tonight in the 8th minute through Lucas Perez.
Alexis Sanchez picked out Kieran Gibbs on the left of the area. Gibbs controlled and squared for Lucas Perez for a simple tap into the net.
The same duo combined for the second goal in the 16th minute. Mesut Ozil played in Gibbs, whose hard and low shot was only parried by Tomas Vaclik. The ball fell to Lucas Perez for another tap-in.
Renato Steffen’s swerving shot nearly pulled a goal back for FC Basel just before the half-time break. But he was denied by David Ospina. The keeper then saved the follow-up shot, and then fell on the ball before Marc Janko could turn it into the net.
In a strong finish to the first period, Basel skipper Matias Delgado then put a header wide of the post.
Arsenal though soon got into their stride in the second half, with a quick fire goal double.
Gibbs was again the provider in the 47th minute, with Perez firing low past Vaclik for his hat-trick.
Alex Iwobi then made it 4-0 in the 53rd minute. Alexis Sanchez sent a through pass to Mesut Ozil in the penalty area, He cut it back for Iwobi who had a simple finish from six yards out.
Basel pulled a goal back in the 78th minute. Substitute Seydou Doumbia shrugged off Rob Holding and lifted the ball over David Ospina into the net.
Arsenal: Ospina 7, Gabriel 7, Holding 7, Koscielny 7, Gibbs 8, Xhaka 7, Ramsey 7 (Giroud), Iwobi 7, Ozil 8 (Walcott), Lucas 9, Alexis 8 (Elneny)