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Ozil scores hat-trick as Arsenal put six past Ludogorets

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has been involved in four of Arsenal’s Champions League goals this season, scoring twice and assisting twice

Mesut Ozil scored a hat-trick after stunning goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott as Arsenal dismantled Ludogorets Razgrad in a ruthless Champions League display.

Sanchez got the first with a masterful chip from just inside the box.

Walcott powered a curling shot home after Ludogorets’ Wanderson hit a post.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed a loose ball into the corner for the third, before Ozil claimed the first hat-trick of his career.

The Gunners have won seven games in a row in all competitions – scoring 23 goals – and are unbeaten in 11 matches.

Their last defeat was at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Victory over Bulgarian champions Ludogorets means Arsenal top Group A ahead of Paris St-Germain, who beat Basel 3-0, on goal difference.

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Mesut Ozil has taste for goals – Arsene Wenger

Wenger is smiling…

As Sanchez’s drifting lob settled in the Ludogorets net, gleeful manager Arsene Wenger leapt from the bench in celebration. It was just the beginning.

The Frenchman’s side were so dominant and full of confidence they perhaps should even have won by a greater margin.

Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly might have provided a better finish to Sanchez’s beautifully disguised chipped through pass – the Chilean’s second moment of genius on a night his hard running and quick mind came to the fore.

But the player who most obviously embodies Arsenal’s new dynamic mood is Walcott. He impressively put two earlier missed chances out of mind when doubling the lead with a powerful strike that signalled the away side’s slide towards heavy defeat.

It was the 27-year-old’s seventh goal in his past six Arsenal games, having scored the same amount in his previous 42.

For 60 minutes, Walcott and Sanchez terrified the opposition backline with their pace, and he went off to huge round of applause when he was replaced by Lucas Perez.

There were big smiles as he took up a seat on the bench – from both Walcott and Wenger.

…but there’s still much to do

In each of the past six seasons, Arsenal have fallen at the first knockout stage, the last 16. In all but one of those seasons, they finished second in their group.

With Swiss club Basel and Ludogorets six points adrift with three matches to play, Group A will surely be won by Arsenal or French champions PSG.

The Gunners began their Champions League campaign with a battling point in Paris, and the two teams meet in north London on 23 November.

Wenger told BT Sport: “Let’s qualify first. We go to Ludogorets in two weeks and they will want to show us they are better than 6-0, but if we win there it would come down to the game against PSG.”

Man of the match – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

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“Boom Bam Arsenal! Brilliant team performance and very happy about my first ever hat-trick!” Ozil wrote on Twitter

Sanchez was a close contender (the brilliant goal, determination and beautiful footwork) but this has to go to Ozil.

Having earlier assisted Walcott with a pin-point pass to the edge of the area, the Germany international fired in three excellent close-range finishes in just over 30 second-half minutes.

The first was a cool, calm finish with plenty of time to pick his spot after Santi Cazorla’s ball over the top, the second he slotted home from Perez’s cross, and the third was a sweet, low volley that sneaked in at the near post, with Perez the provider again.

What they said

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “Our confidence is stronger with every win but we have to keep the vigilance and the urgency to bring that into the next game.

“Let’s not be too quick on the verdict. We have a strong squad and a strong spirit, but you have to take care of it and keep your feet on the ground. The only way to win something big is to focus on the next one and work on humility.

“I feel that at the moment because we win game after game our confidence is high. Maybe we get over dodgy periods with less psychological damage.

“In the first half, it looked like a difficult game because they were dangerous going forward; they had good technique in short space; they are quick on the counter attack.

“I believe it was not easy but in the second half we took complete control of the game. I think we could have scored more.”

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport: “I want to see [Arsenal play like this] for a sustained period of time.

“They always make you think they’ve got a chance, and then they let you down.

“Now they have to take things game by game, get through Christmas with this kind of form, and then you can start really judging them as a team. They need to win something.”

The stats you need to know

  • Walcott has scored three Champions League goals this season, already his best return in a campaign
  • Ozil’s assist for Walcott’s goal was his first in 10 games in all competitions for Arsenal this season
  • This game was the first time since October 2000 two English players scored in a Champions League match for Arsenal (after Ray Parlour and Lee Dixon v Sparta Prague)
  • The Gunners are unbeaten in their first three Champions League group games for the first time since 2011-12
  • Arsenal scored six goals in a Champions League game for the first time since September 2010 (6-0 v Braga)

What’s next?

Arsenal host Middlesbrough in the Premier League at 15:00 BST on Saturday. Their next match in the Champions League is the return fixture against Ludogorets in Bulgaria on Tuesday, 1 November.

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 6, Ludogorets Razgrad 0.

Second Half ends, Arsenal 6, Ludogorets Razgrad 0.

Attempt saved. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Natanael Pimienta.

Jonathan Cafu (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal).

Goal! Arsenal 6, Ludogorets Razgrad 0. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucas Pérez.

Attempt missed. Yordan Minev (Ludogorets Razgrad) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Ludogorets Razgrad. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

Goal! Arsenal 5, Ludogorets Razgrad 0. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Pérez with a cross.

Substitution, Ludogorets Razgrad. Jody Lukoki replaces Wanderson.

Attempt missed. Anicet (Ludogorets Razgrad) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marcelinho.

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Iwobi replaces Alexis Sánchez.

Attempt missed. Lucas Pérez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross.

Foul by Claudiu Keseru (Ludogorets Razgrad).

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Ludogorets Razgrad. Natanael Pimienta tries a through ball, but Claudiu Keseru is caught offside.

Substitution, Ludogorets Razgrad. Claudiu Keseru replaces Virgil Misidjan.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Vladislav Stoyanov.

Attempt saved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a through ball.

Wanderson (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lucas Pérez (Arsenal).

Substitution, Arsenal. Lucas Pérez replaces Theo Walcott.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Svetoslav Dyakov.

Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Virgil Misidjan (Ludogorets Razgrad) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Svetoslav Dyakov (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Francis Coquelin (Arsenal).

Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Santiago Cazorla because of an injury.

Goal! Arsenal 4, Ludogorets Razgrad 0. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a through ball following a fast break.

Dangerous play by Yordan Minev (Ludogorets Razgrad).

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Offside, Ludogorets Razgrad. Marcelinho tries a through ball, but Yordan Minev is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Marcelinho (Ludogorets Razgrad) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Cafu (Ludogorets Razgrad) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Marcelinho.

Offside, Ludogorets Razgrad. Natanael Pimienta tries a through ball, but Virgil Misidjan is caught offside.

Marcelinho (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Francis Coquelin (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Shkodran Mustafi with a cross.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Vladislav Stoyanov.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37688100