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Basel 1-4 Arsenal: Match Report

A stroll in Switzerland and results elsewhere mean Arsenal have topped the group.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

A potentially tricky match day 6 meeting with FC Basel turned into an easy stroll as Arsenal won 4-1, and finished top of Group A, after PSG were held to a draw by Ludogorets.

FC Basel have hurt English teams before, knocking out Manchester United in 2011-12, Liverpool in 2014-15 and Tottenham in the Europa League, but Lucas Perez scored two inside the opening 20 minutes, and Arsenal cruised to victory. Arsene Wenger named a strong side despite making 6 changes, and finally started Granit Xhaka in midfield with Aaron Ramsey—a move that paid off immensely. Lucas Perez started from the right, and put Arsenal 1-0 up after 8 minutes after a flowing move. Alexis’ chipped pass found Kieran Gibbs, and his cutback went to Lucas, who had time to roll and then drill his shot. The second goal was similar; Özil’s fantastic pass found the marauding Gibbs, whose shot was parried by the keeper to Lucas, who tapped in.

Basel became to come into the match, but David Ospina kept any shots at bay, and attention began to turn to Paris, where Ludogorets had gone 1-0 up. Arsenal wrapped up the match early in the second half, with the ball making its way to Lucas in the penalty box, with his right footed shot enough to get past the goalkeeper to seal the hattrick. The 4th goal was scored by Alex Iwobi, and it was a fantastic move, with Ramsey moving the ball forward on the break, Alexis taking over and playing a fantastic ball for Özil, who cutback for Iwobi to tap in.

Seydou Doiumbia made Rob Holding look a little foolish to get a consolation for Basel, but it won’t matter to Arsenal, who finish top of their Champions League group for the first time in 5 years.