Reuters

Mesut Ozil grabs hat-trick as Arsenal destroy Ludogorets

Ozil grabs hat-trick as Arsenal destroy Ludogorets

19/10/2016 at 22:12

Champions League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 6 (Sanchez 12; Walcott 42; Oxlade-Chamberlain 46; Ozil 56, 83, 87) Ludogorets 0

Arsenal more or less guaranteed their progress through the knockout stages of the Champions League with Mesut Ozil’s hat-trick the centrepiece of a ruthless 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets.

But the game was not as simple as the scoreline suggests. Ludogorets caused Arsenal plenty of problems in the first half, even after Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring with a delicious dummy and chip. But each time they contrived a threatening situation, they were off-target with their finish or final pass, and three minutes before half-time, Theo Walcott banged in the clinching goal.

Ludogorets mustered very little after half-time, but even so, Arsenal still did exceptionally well to keep going, playing with imagination and verve, while finishing with a complete absence of ruth. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain punched in the third goal just 38 seconds into the second period, and then Ozil helped himself to a superbly taken hat-trick, taking away three chances with confidence and economy of effort.

As ever with Arsenal, the question is whether they can keep it going when things get serious - especially at the back, where they were exposed even tonight - but in the meantime, they are attacking with confidence and pace which makes them a difficult night for anyone.

TALKING POINT - ARSENAL'S INTENTIONS

This is not the first time that Arsenal have looked useful in the autumn, but this season does seem a little different. They are attacking with a conviction that has been missing for the best part of a decade, and if they can maintain that through the winter, it may be enough to cover for a defence that still looks unreliable.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alexis Sanchez: Quite some effort given Mesut Ozil's second-half hat-trick, but Sanchez's movement was superb all night, stretching Ludogorets' defence. And his opening goal was an absolute vision of loveliness.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates - Arsenal v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group A - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 19/10/16

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates - Arsenal v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group A - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 19/10/16Reuters

PLAYER RATINGS

Arsenal: Ospina 6, Bellerin 6, Koscielny 6, Mustafi 6, Gibbs 6, Coquelin 6, Cazorla 7, Walcott 7, Ozil 8, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Sanchez 9. Subs: Elneny 6, Lucas Perez 7, Iwobi 6.

Ludogorets: Stoyanov 5, Minev 5, Moti 5, Palomino 7, Natanael 6, Anicet 6, Dyakov 6, Wanderson 6, Marcelinho 7, Misidjan 7, Jonathan Cafu 6.

KEY STAT

Arsene Wenger has now won 100 matches in European competition.

KEY MOMENTS

12 - 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. š

42 -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.

46 - 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.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates - Arsenal v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group A - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 19/10/16

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates - Arsenal v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group A - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 19/10/16Reuters

56 -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 done.

83 - 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.

87 - 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.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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