By Walter Broeckx
A number of changes before the match. With our destiny to finish top of the group not in our own hands something that I really think can be done. A few players getting some rest and some player getting the chance to play at the highest level is something that I surely can support.
In goal we have our CL keeper Ospina and Cech is on the beach. At the back Mustafi will be replaced by Holding who makes his CL debut tonight. Gibbs will play at left back and Gabriel at right back.
In midfield we also see a few changes. Coquelin is suspended and Ramsey plays together with Xhaka. Arsène Wenger has made six changes to the team for our final group game in Basel.
Iwobi also in the starting lineup and maybe more surprising we also find Lucas. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain get some rest.
Arsenal team: Ospina, Gabriel, Holding, Koscielny, Gibbs, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Ozil, Lucas, Alexis
On the beach: Cech, Monreal, Mustafi, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud
Arsenal with most of the ball in the opening minutes and an attack goes from right to left and back to the middle. Alexis with a ball over the top of the last defender to left back Gibbs who simply passes it in front of the goal where Lucas controls and then simply taps it over the line. GOAL!!!! 0-1 to the Arsenal after 9 minutes.
Basel attacking now a bit more think they had scored but the linesman raised his flag for offside and that was the correct decision. Ospina with a first brilliant reflex save by the way. Basel really going for the equaliser now. But Arsenal after a few difficult minutes regain the ball and some possession. Özil to Gibbs on the left flank again in space a shot that the keeper can push away but Lucas on hand to put it over the line. GOAL!!! 0-2 to the Arsenal after 16 minutes.
Basel trying to do something back and a curling shot with the outside of the left foot goes just wide of the goalpost. Arsenal control the match and Alexis is just offside when he has a shot on goal that is saved by the keeper. At the other end a cross floats just over the goal from Ospina. Lucas almost at the end of a long ball from Ramsey but the keeper is first on the ball. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 30 minutes.
A few Arsenal players getting out of some 50/50 challenges in midfield. No need to take risks of course but this is maybe a bit early to do this as it creates a bit more pressure on our defenders. Gibbs on the other hand goes in the book for a PL tackle that is not allowed in the CL. Our Xhaka embraces their Xhaka in midfield but the ref doesn’t see it as brother love and gives a foul. Ospina with a important save and then first on the ball to prevent the rebound being put over the line. Brave goalkeeping. But Basel really having a go and going forward at Arsenal now. Basel get another chance but it is headed over from the edge of the goal area. Arsenal leaning back a bit too much maybe and giving Basel too much room and taking it too casual?
What a start to the second half. Gibbs, what a match he is having intercepts a ball and plays it to Lucas who….finishes it off with his right foot in the far corner! GOAL!!!!!! 0-3 to The Arsenal after 46 minutes! A hattrick for the Spanish striker in his first start in the CL!
Janko brushes a header wide after a quickly taken corner for Basel. But Arsenal now finding some space in mdifield. Ramsey to Alexis who feeds it to Özil who simply lays it off in front of Iwobi who fires it over the line. GOAL !!!!! 0-4 to The Arsenal after 54 minutes.
Arsenal now leaning a bit more back with this good advantage on the scoreboard. Some confusion after a Basel free kick but Holding heading the ball away and the next shot that is deflected is saved by Ospina. The first shot Basel had on target. Basel a bit later with a counter but a defender could save for a corner that is just cleared for another corner. Basel really not giving up yet, credit to them.
Alexis then charged off the ball with a strong challenge that the ref didn’t like and the Basel player goes in the book. He played the ball but he came in dangerous. Alexis with the free kick that is floated in and makes a strange curve and ends up against the crossbar and the rebound that was headed towards goal was saved by the keeper. Özil then stumbling a bit so he could not give the ball on the overlap and this his attempted shot was cut out.
Time for some changes. Alexis goes off and Elneny comes on after 69 minutes. Arsenal now playing the ball around a bit without really trying to add to the score. I think we already made our point to them. Giroud came one in the place of Ramsey. Özil with a low cross to Giroud but his effort goes just wide. Özil also goes off and Walcott comes on after 73 minutes. Ospina has to go down to a deflected shot.
Walcott with a run but his shot is saved by the keeper. Iwobi tries to play in Giroud but the ball is too hard. Iwobi now playing the Özil role. Arsenal then losing the ball after a little error by Holding and Basel capitales and pulls one back by Doumbia. 1-4 after 78 minutes. A beginners mistake we will say. He will probably learn from it.
Ospina picking up a header after a corner. But the balance was a bit lost in the team after the substitutions or should I say the brilliance of Özil and Alexis? A Walcott shot was deflected for a corner.
With the match being as good as over time to have a look at Paris. Over to you François: Well after 88 minutes PSG is losing 1-2 to Ludogorets. Qui, Ludogorets est en train de faire la surprise au Parc Des Princes. Back to you Walter.
Wow that would mean Arsenal would win their group…. 2 minutes to go in Basel. The score in Paris now much more important….
Aux Parc de Prince dans l’extra time. PSG toujours menée a la marque. PSG still behind desperately trying to turn things around…. 2-2 in the second minute of extra time. PSG marque 2-2 dans la minute 92. Arsenal still top of the group now…..
In Basel the ref blows an end to the match. Arsenal win 1-4. Ooohhh the keeper from Ludogorets with a magical save at the end…. Already more than 1 minute over the extra time in Paris. Paris time???
Final whistle in Paris : PSG – Ludogorets 2-2!!!! Arsenal win the group!!! Eat that you moaners! Eat that!
A Lucas hattrick, an Iwobi goal and Gibbs my man of the match! What a night!