Well, that wasn't quite as simple as the scoreline suggests - Ludogorets caused Arsenal plenty of problems in the first half. But Arsenal finished superbly and are playing with confidence and conviction. The question, as ever, is whether they can keep it going when things get serious.
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Arsenal - Ludogorets
Champions League - 19 October 2016
Champions League – Follow the Football match between Arsenal and Ludogorets live with Eurosport. The match starts at 19:45 on 19 October 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 6-0 LUDOGORETS
There shall be two additional minutes.
GOAL! HAT-TRICK! ARSENAL 6-0 LUDOGORETS (OZIL) Well, he's not even played that well, but he's finished with an absolute absence of ruth. Perez goes down the right this time, comes back in on his left side, clips over a cross, and Ozil arrives to toe-lace a volley into the near post corner.
It's been a good night for Oxlade-Chamberlain. He's not played well enough to teef Iwobi's spot in the side, but he's in the conversation.
How crucial was that last-minute winner at Burnley.
GOAL! ARSENAL 5-0 LUDOGORETS (OZIL) Perez makes a run in behind, down the left, and Oxlade-Chamberlain finds him. There is only one defender in the box, but the clipped cross is still a goodun, directly into the path of Ozil, who cushions a finish into the ground and over the keeper.
Ludogorets are keeping possession, hoping to avoid further damage and expenditure of energy.
Change for Ludogorets: Lukoki replaces Wanderson.
Marcelinho finds some space on the left and finds Anicet outside the box; he makes room for a shot, and cracks it wide. That's the first such incident in quite some time.
Gladbach now lead Celtic 2-0. It's not been a good night for Manchester City.
Ludogorets have barely been out of their own half this half.
Alexis Sanchez looks as unhappy with his subbing as you'd expect . He is a footballing monster.
In Barcelona, Lee-Nell Messi has a hat-trick.
Alexis Sanchez departs to a standing ovation, and he really has earned the arse out of it. Alex Iwobi replaces him.
Oh this is lovely, Ozil snapping a pass from out on the left into the feet off Sanchez. He looks right and scoops left, picking out Oxlade-Chamberlain, inside the box, who watches the ball onto his laces but can only smack it into the ground, the save an easy one for Stoyanov. But still, that was the football of a player and team whose needle is well and truly hitting the groove.
Ludogorets haven't been able to get close to Sanchez tonight, and again he pulls away through the middle. But Palomino goes with him, bundling him to the ground but making it look like a tangle of bodies, and the ref says no penalty.
I reckon Ludogorets would take 6-0 if you offered it them.
Oh this is lovely, Oxlade-Chamberlain down the left and teasing Minev before knocking a pass back to Ozil. Somehow, he kind of runs into it without breaking stride, sending an entirely unexpected return back - but Oxlade-Chamberlain can't quite control it.
In Barcelona, Claudio Bravo has been sent-off. I think I fancy the home side to see this one out now. Meanwhile, PSG now lead Basle 2-0.
Well here's a thing! Theo Walcott is too important to leave on, and he's replaced by Lucas Perez.
In Glasgow, Gladbach have taken the lead against Celtic. This leaves Manchester City in a tricky situation - if Gladbach hold on and beat them at home too, and if City lose to Barca twice, they'll need something in Germany to qualify.
Change for Arsenal: Cazorla, who departs gingerly and has his foot strapped on the bench, is replaced by Elneny.
GOAL! ARSENAL 4-0 LUDOGORETS (OZIL 57) Koscielny robs Marcelinho just outside the Arsenal box and Cazorla picks up the loose ball, hitting a long, aerial pass to Ozil. His first touch is a joy, delivering the ball into his lengthening stride as he nashes through the middle, and he freezes the keeper them plants a firm roll into the corner. Beautifully taken.
Is it for avoidance of doubt or for the avoidance of doubt, FAOD or FTAOD? I'm the former.
If I was Arsene Wenger - which, for the avoidance of doubt, I'm not - I'd get Alexis Sanchez off forthwith.
I'm not sure we're going to see very much more interestingness.
Ludogorets want to go home.
GOAL! ARSENAL 3-0 LUDOGORETS (OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN) 38 seconds, and Ludogorets are trudging wearily now. The excitement begins when Sanchez twists and turns in tribute to Bergkamp against Juventus. But eventually he's snuffed out, only for Arsenal to recycle possession and play Gibbs in down the left. His cross is low and cut-back, deflected directly into the path of Oxlade-Chamberlain - he pauses to slaver, then opens his body to snap a side-footer into the corner from eight yards.
Elsewhere in the group, PSG lead Basel 1-0. If they stay in front, they and Arsenal will be more or less through.
Arsenal have been very good in spasms, but have not defended at all well - a better side than Ludogorets would have nabbed a couple in that first half. But they didn't, which means that this game is more or less over; Arsenal only have to decide whether to seek a statement win, or conserve energy for the tricky run that awaits them.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 2-0 LUDOGORETS
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who's coming on a good game, wriggles down the left and stands up a cross for Sanchez at the back post. But he can't quite generate the power to tax Stoyanov.
GOAL! ARSENAL 2-0 LUDOGORETS (WALCOTT) Goal machine! Oxlade-Chamberlain finds Ozil outside him down the left, and Ozil drags back a cross for Walcott, who's pulled away from his marker. Just outside the box, right of centre, he wraps his foot around a drive that flies high into the net. It's not in the corner, but it's plenty good enough to do for Stoyanov, who should probably have got nearer to it. Walcott celebrates like yeah, of course that's what I do.
Not sure Alexis Sanchez is online at the moment.
Kostafi, Georges Saint-Pierre has some thoughts he'd like to share with you.
There's not been much in the way of midfield play in this game. Both sides are looking to get the ball forward quickly, and neither has a player looking to or capable of dictating.
Lovely from Coquelin, winning possession just outside the Ludogorets box and flicking a pass for Walcott outside him - he takes it well on his instep, setting himself for a shot. But when he should go towards the far post, so that if the keeper saves, there's still the chance of a rebound, he slices across the ball and Stoyanov beats away at the near - with relative ease.
What a chance this is for Ludogorets! A simple straight pass is missed by Koscielny, and Misidjan arrives at it before Ospina, turning setting Wanderson. He might shoot first time, but instead, works the ball onto his right foot before swivelling into a shot towards the far corner ... but he clips the outside of the post.
Oh this is miserable from Oxlade-Chamberlain! Sanchez, whose movement has been excellent, again makes the angle in behind, and when the ball finds him, he slots a through-pass into Oxlade-Chamberlain's stride. Haring into the box, a firm thump into the far corner and it's a goal, but instead, he looks to square for Walcott, who'd have an open net. Except he screws it horribly.
Ludogorets are a live dog here - Arsenal haven't maintained the incisiveness that brought them their goal, and Misidjan screeches down the right, a clever, quick cross taking Mustafi out of the game and looking to put Cafu in. But Ospina is out sharply, diving across yerman to tip the ball out of his stride.
Walcott nips down the right and cuts back a cross, assiduously picking out Moti. But he stumbles through his clearance, diverting the ball into the path of Ozil who, not expecting the tee-up, drags a tame shot straight at Stoyanov.
At last, Ludogorets get Cafu in behind, at inside-right, and Ospina comes. Cafu goes by him on the outside, but the angle isn't conducive to a shot and there's no one to pass to. He tries the latter, but Ospina recovers to smother.
Sanchez isn't quite a centre-forward, but his willingness and ability to take the ball and run at however many defenders are there to be run at is exceptional. And he does precisely that, gaining 20 yards, before Palomino and Natanel combine to haul him down. The free-kick, 35 yards out and left of centre, is punted directly at Stoyanov.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi has put Barcelona 1-0-up against Barcelona B.
After five great minutes Arsenal have gone quiet again, and Misidjan bustles down the right , fed by Marcelinho finding himself with a shooting chance. But from a narrow angle he can only thunk straight at Ospina, who beats away at the near post.
Wanderson finds himself in a modicum of space and tries a curler, but Koscielny makes the block before it's even left his boot. The ball the breaks to Dyakov, who smashes miles away from anywhere to somewhere in the vicinity of Selhurst Park.
Here youse go.
After a solid start, Ludogorets look thoroughly befuddled. They're in for a long night.
WHAT A GOAL! ARSENAL 1-0 LUDOGORETS (SANCHEZ) This is a delicious goal! Mustafi finds Oxlade-Chaberlain, on halfway and right of centre, and he turns a ball around the corner for Sanchez. He nashes onto it and into the box, then turns inside as Moti comes across, sending him away for a bag of chips, before curling a perfect chip into the far corner. Beautiful.
Again, Sanchez runs in behind and again the ball comes to him, but he doesn't look confident in his pace - he should sprint away, but instead comes inside to get into his right foot, by which time a crew of defenders hold him up and the chance goes. But Arsenal are coming.
First real sight of goal when Sanchez runs in behind and someone - Ozil I think - finds him with a long, searching pass. He spins on it and feeds it wide to Walcott, whose shot is smothered by Natanael. But the ball falls kindly, and from six yards, Walcott should score. But he opts to square a belated return pass instead, and a phalanx of defenders interject.
Cazorla does well to win a 50-50 on the right corner of the Ludogorets box, nipping in to flick a ball out to Walcott with the outside of his right boot. Walcott then batters a cross miles away from anywhere.
It's been a quiet start - Ludogorets are a composed outfit, while Arsenal have lacked a little bit intensity.
Keown says that Sanchez reminds him of Ian Rush, which is not the most obvious comparison, but he means in the way that he harries defenders. But Rush was a finisher, whereas Sanchez is a footballer.
"Martin Keown has friends in every nation."
"I hope so."
That really happened. In the meantime, Arsenal attack with Ozil at inside-left - and he looks for Sanchez at the far post, but just overhits his pass.
Nice from Ludogoets, Wanderson lolloping down the left and guiding a ball in behind Bellerin for Cafu, coming across. He then swivels into a low cross that's not far away from Misidjan, but Conquelin does superbly to interject, running back towards his own goal.
Ludogorets get down their left and pop the ball about nicely, calmly going back to halfway when their probing yields nothing. They look like they know what they're doing.
"Arsene Wenger making four changes, one in each compartment of the team." Martin Keown is just so articulate.
And off we go.
The music's going. It's such a tune. Someone needs to remix it.
And here they come!
Right, let's get the boys on the baize...
Timing, lads. And no surprise whatsoever that a bloke who calls and signs himself "Safehands" wears a three-piece.
For those embarrassingly unversed in all matters Ludogorets, this, on Jonathan Cafu, is good.
So, how do Ludogorets beat Arsenal? Well, like pretty much every team these days, they're pretty nifty on the break, but specifically, if they can look to get in behind Bellerin and Gibbs, they can at least investigate how Arsenal defend their own box, especially with their centre-backs turned to face their own goal.
So, how long do you give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before writing him off? On the one hand, he's been injured and never had a run in the team let alone in the same position; on the other, he's never earned a run and isn't very much better than when he signed. What's especially odd about him is the lack of and lack of improvement in his game intelligence, given that he is a bright chap. Big chance for him tonight.
"This group here is a group Arsenal should win no problem," reckons Ian Wright. But really, there's not much between them and PSG; they did very well to escape Paris with a draw, and a home win in the return would be an excellent result - one of their best in Europe in recent years.
I can't take much more of this. "David" is not your pal.
As for Ludogorets, Wanderson, Marcelinho and especially Jonathan Cafu need watching. I'd not be at all surprised if they scored tonight.
I don't think those are especially risky calls from Arsene Wenger. His best, most important players - Mustafi, Koscielny, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez are still in - while Oxlade-Chamberlain really needs a game.
So that's four changes for Arsenal. Out go Cech, Monreal, Xhaka and Iwobi; in come Ospina, Gibbs, Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
So, here's how Arsenal - or the Arsenal, if you have self-esteem issues - line up.
Evening all, and let's have some Arsenal-PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.