Arsenal travelled to Switzerland to face FC Basel in their last UEFA Champions League group stage match. Arsene Wenger named a different side to his usual selections with Lucas Perez starting on the right, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka starting in midfield, with Kieran Gibbs and Rob Holding the changes in defence from the win against West Ham.
Arsenal came into the match with the small hope of finishing top of Group A, which looked unlikely as PSG took on Ludogorets in Parc de Princes. Arsenal made a flying start to the match with Lucas Perez tapping in two goals from close range. The second half started much the same way as the first, with Lucas Perez completing his hat-trick going just two minutes into the second-half. Alex Iwobi scored the fourth thanks to an easy goal thanks to Mesut Ozil’s superb cutback. Seydou Doumbia managed a goal for FC Basel to produce a final score line of 4-1 but it was only a consolation goal for the Swiss team.
Let’s have a look at Arsenal’s top performers and pick our ‘Man of the Match’.
A) Kieran Gibbs
Replacing Nacho Monreal at left back, Kieran Gibbs was all over the left flank for Arsenal. Gibbs was involved in three of Arsenal’s goals, two with his passes and one with his shot which was parried to Lucas Perez. He did well defensively and looked in good shape overall. Monreal could well be under threat for his place.
B) Lucas Perez
Arsene Wenger started Lucas Perez on the right-wing instead of his more natural striker position for Tuesday night’s game. He was calm his for first goal, took his time and latched it into the near post to give Arsenal the lead. He snatched on the second from Kieran Gibbs’ parried shot, and for his third he drove a decent shot, out of the reach of the ‘keeper. Lucas Perez was seen committed to his defensive duties as well with tracking back and applying pressure to keep the game plan intact. A great overall game for the striker.
C) Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil delivered a superb performance against Basel. Ozil seems to be creating a superb partnership with Sanchez, to such an extent where both players seem to know where the other is. In the build up for Lucas Perez’s second goal, it was Mesut Ozil’s pass that found Kieran Gibbs to open up the defence. For Alex Iwobi’s first Champions League goal and Arsenal’s fourth, Ozil squared the ball to find the Nigerian international completely open and in front of goal.
Arsenal’s hat-trick hero Lucas Perez is surely our ‘Man of the Match’ against FC Basel. His goals have seen Arsenal progress to the knockout stages on top spot.
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