By Walter Broeckx
Two changes in the team with Ospina coming the place of Cech and Xhaka taking up the place of the injured Coquelin.
On the bench we had Reine-Adelaide and Gabriel. A rather unexpected name the first.
Arsenal team: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis
On the beach: Cech, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas.
Arsenal with most of the ball in the opening minutes but Bellerin having to be quick to smother a possible counter from Bazel. Then a long ball over the top from Cazorla (I think – not the best stream?) to Alexis who was onside and in space on the left flank, a cross to the middle and Theo with the header! GOAL!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 7 minutes.
A great start from Arsenal and we get the reward. Iwobi in the attack and he ball ends up in front of Monreal but the keeper can save his shot. Apart from that no real goal scoring chances for Arsenal but Basel also not being dangerous in the first 15 minutes.
Theo Walcott throwing himself in front of the ball to prevent a half cleared corner from Basel to become more dangerous. Base now going a bit more forward now but Alexis nicks the ball away and is being pulled down by Suchy who gets a deserved yellow card. The Basel momentum gone and Arsenal back the team with most possession. And Arsenal with some neat passing around the half way line. Theo gets the ball, gives it to Alexis who immediately returns it to Theo and bang! GOAL!!!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 26 minutes. A wonderful low strike from Theo in the far corner finds it way to the back of the net.
Alexis then sneaks through but the keeper gets first on the ball, that falls to Theo who is brought down from behind but the ref waves the foul away? Arsenal 2-0 in front after half an hour played.
Alexis almost sneaking the ball away from the goalkeeper but the ball ended up around the corner flag in safety for Basel. Mustafi then again with a good interception when Bellerin misplaced a pass in midfield. Strong defending from the German international. Then Theo again with a great move, to Bellerin who gives it to Cazorlal who brings Alexis one on one but the keeper has a great reaction and saves at the expense of a corner. That should have been the third goal. Özil to Walcott who plays it to Bellerin but again the keeper with a great block.
And seconds later Özil in space but he puts the ball wide with the outside of his left foot. A great ball from Monrreal to Alexis but again the keeper with a brilliant save and the rebound from Iwobi is blocked by a defender. The ball then goes flat but no problem in the champions league as we have multiple balls. Özil again with a beautiful turn but no end product after that. Well not every attack can lead to a goal scoring chance. Alexis with a long cross to Özil but he only hits the side net with his right foot. Iwobi with a bad pass that is intercepted by a Basel player but Kos comes to the rescue. A great first half by Arsenal with Theo scoring twice on an Alexis assist but the score should have been higher, much higher.
Arsenal immediately with another dangerous attack but the keeper first ont the low cross from Monreal and then a little collision with Alexis that is being called back rightfully so. Alexis then gives it to Theo who is judged offside correctly. Alexis nicks the ball away from a defender like last saturday but then tries a pass to Özil instead of going for goal himself. Xhaka then almost finds Cazorla but the keeper first on the ball. Arsenal still 2-0 in front after one hour .
Ospina has to do his fist real work in blocking a dangerous corner in to another corner that he catches easily this time. And then has to push a ball over the crossbar when Basel shoot from distance. Some pressure from Basel now with a few corners in a row and Bjarnason missing at the far post. Alexis then almost finds Walcott but the ball was too close to the keeper. Sporar on the end of a loose ball for Basel but his shot went well off target. Walcott with a cross from on the goal line to Alexis in the middle who misses the target. Koscielny has to stick out a long leg to prevent a possible Basel chance when we lose the ball close to our penalty area. Got to keep our concentration up!
After 70 minuts Iwobi and Theo go off and Elneny and Oxlade-Chamberlain come on. Arsenal then with minutes of possession in the Basel half but only getting a corner for their possession. Monreal has a go from far but… well I hope nobody got hurt in the stands. With 15 minutes to go Monreal goes off and Gibbs comes on. Arsenal play keep the ball and do so for minutes. Alexis and Özil combining to get Bellerin free on the right but his cross towards Özil is cut out.
Mustafi then at the end of a collision with Steffen when he kicks the ball away but both can continue. Alexis being fouled just outside the penalty area after a dazzling dribble past a few defenders. A yellow card for Elyounoussy. Santi with the free kick but the ball gets stuck between the legs of the defenders in the wall. Ospina with a good block when the flag stays down and Oxlade-Chamberlain at the other end rounding the keeper but finding himself on the goal line and the keeper could smother the cross for a corner. Alexis at the end of the corner but again the keeper with an amazing block. He isn’t going to score today to his frustration.
A good win that should have got a higher score line when you look at all the chances we had. But no complaints here as a win in the CL is a win, no matter the score line.