By Walter Broeckx
A few changes for this match against Ludogorets.
Xhaka paying the price for his red card maybe and Coquelin takes his place. We have Ospina in goal as expected with Cech sitting on the beach.
Furthermore one change in the defence as Gibbs comes in the place of Monreal. And up front we have Oxlade-Chamberlain who comes in for Iwobi. Maybe a good moment to give the youngster some rest.
Team at the start: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis.
On the beach: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Lucas.
Özil with an attempt ot reach Alexis but the keeper could intercept the cross. A good attack and Theo goes past the last man but then gives the ball to the middle instead of taking on the shot. Özil sends Alexis away but the last defender could intercept the attack. The Ox with a shot that is deflected in to a corner. Arsenal on fired and Alexis is again send away on the left flank, a cut back, defenders coming back and a lob… GOAL!!! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 12 minutes. What a lovely goal.
Ludogorets dangerous for the first time but a fine stop from Ospina. And some 5 minutes alter Ludogorets witha counter but Ospina again up to the task and a good stop. But most of the time Ludogorets hanging back deep around their penalty area. Özil gets a shooting chance after a low cross from Walcott but a defender blocks the effort. And Ospina then again with a tremendous interception as Cafu was almost past him. At the other end The Ox away but he pass was just out of reach for Walcott to tuck home. The match now very open for the moment around the half hour mark.
And again Ospina comes out perfectly to stop a Ludogorets break away and then the rebound is going wide off the legs of Koscielny and the post. At the other end Theo with a free shooting chance but the keeper saves for a corner. Arsenal with too many wrong passes up front in this passage of play and a few good possible chances of opening up Ludogorets go missing. But then Özil is on the flank, looks up sees players running towards the goal and Theo dropping off and chooses the Theo option outside the penalty area. Theo steadies himself for the shot and curls it beautifully in the top of the goal. GOAL!!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 42 minutes. Another cracking goal.
The Ox with a run on the left flank a cross to Alexis who heads but the keeper manages to clear it somehow. And then the ref blows an end to the first half. Arsenal lead 2-0 but Ospina certainly had some important work to do at the other end and did it expertly. Arsenal had enough chances to have a higher score also.
What a start to the second half. Arsenal trying to attack from the start. Gibbs with a low cross that is cleared first but falls to The Ox who buries it in the bottom corner. GOAL!!! 3-0 to The Arsenal after 46 minutes. A minute later the Ludogorets keeper has to box the ball away just in front of the nose of Theo who was chasing a high backpass. And from the resulting corner Koscielny with the header but a comfortable save for the keeper this time. Ludogorets try to do something back but Ospina with a good catch and the striker was offside anyway. Theo almost away but the keeper got out in time to clear. Koscielny with a great stop to prevent a possible break from Ludogorets and Arsenal immediately counter attack and the ball is put over the top and Özil runs towards the keeper and shoots with his right foot… GOAL!!!! 4-0 to The Arsenal after 56 minutes. Wenger takes off Santi and puts Elneny on.
Theo with an attempt to reach Alexis but the keeper first on the ball. Santi meanwhile being treated on his foot and gets an ice bag. Lucas is coming on after 60 minutes in the place of Theo. Good to give him some rest now. The CL debut for Lucas who goes to play on the right it seems. Alexis through and brought down by a defender but the ref refuses to put the ball on the spot. Alexis wiht a lobbed pass to The Ox but what a reaction save from the keeper for a corner. Meanwhile I must mention the amazing hard work from Coquelin. How many interceptions he made, how many duels he won, how many tackles he won… I can’t count them on all my fingers I think. Just when I type this he plays a sloppy ball but Ludogorets can’t profit.
The Ox on the left flank with a cross to Lucas but he can’t keep it low and the attempt goes over. After 72 minutes Alexis goes off and Iwobi comes on. He always looks so unhappy when he has to come off but a good move from Wenger. Bellerin almost sneaks through after a nice backheel from Lucas but a defender can clear at the last moment.
Arsenal now leaning back a bit with the Ox on the right flank and Iwobi on the left side of attack. No need to go out for more goals for the sake of it and to risk any injuries. A shot from Ludogorets goes harmlessly wide. Lucas is send away on the left and his cross finds Özil in the middle who again shoots with his right foot… GOAL!!!! 5-0 to The Arsenal. Another goal from Özil and a first assist for Lucas in the CL. Another ball against the turf goal from Özil by the way.
Lucas on the right flank away and again Özil in the middle, a little chipped cross to the German who volleys it home with his left foot. GOAL !!!! 6-0 to The Arsenal after 87 minutes. A hattrick for Özil!
And almost a 7th goal when Özil tries to find Lucas but he misses his attempted backheel. The pass from Özil not 100 % where it should have ended. Bellerin showing his speed again in the last minute to come back to stop a possible Ludogorets attack. And Arsenal again with a chance but the shot from Bellerin is parried and then Lucas and The Ox leave the ball for each other and it comes to nothing.
Ludogorets had a good spell of some 10-15 minutes in the first half but overall Arsenal was much much better than them and finished the match with a trashing 6-0 score line.