A comfortable 2-0 victory against Basel means Arsenal secured full three points and are now top of their Champions League group. Walcott’s double, Sanchez’s constant attempts on goal and key saves by Ospina sum up the action against Basel at the Emirates Stadium.
Match: Arsenal 2 v 0 FC Basel
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick Off (GMT): Wed 29th Sep 1945
It took only seven minutes for Arsenal to take the lead against Basel. A cross by Alexis Sanchez was headed by a speedy Walcott who fired himself into the box to score with a perfect header. The England international then added a second and doubled Arsenal’s lead after a quick one-two exchange with Alexis Sanchez and then sent the ball into the far corner.
With majority of the possession, Arsenal continued to press on with Basel making an attempt to counter-attack in between, but the Gunners continued to put pressure on the visiting side. There would have been more goals from Arsenal, but attempts by Monreal and Sanchez were prevented to add any more numbers to the scoreline. The score stood at 2-0 at with Mesut Ozil missing two clear chances in the last minutes of the first half.
The second half began with Arsenal continuing to put pressure with a chance for Sanchez who unselfishly tried to pass it to Ozil but the ball was cleared by the visitors. With an half an hour left to the final whistle, Basel slowly started to gain momentum and made Ospina work to keep a clean sheet. After clearing a dangerous corner kick, Birkir Bjamason tested the Columbian again who had to stretch in order to clear his attempt directed towards the far post.
A second real chance for Basel came in the final ten minutes of the match but the visitors were denied again by Ospina. This was followed by a counter-attack by the Gunners with a run by Oxlade Chamberlain but failure to cross the ball to Sanchez saw the attack die down.
Arsenal could have finally earned their well-deserved third goal before final whistle but Sanchez’s attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Vaclik keeping the scoreline to 2-0.
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Here’s how we’ve rated the Arsenal players:
GK) David Ospina – 8
A quieter evening than the one in Paris but the goalkeeper made some crucial saves which kept the Gunners clean sheet intact.
RB) Hector Bellerin – 7
Made constant forward runs keeping defenders on their toes linking well with Cazorla and Walcott.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 7
A solid presence as usual, Koscielny kept Basel attack at bay.
CB) Shkodran Mustafi – 7.5
Improving in each match, Mustafi perceived Basel’s attempts to attack and closed them down.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 6
Moved more freely on the pitch and got involved in attack whenever he found the space.
Substitute – Kieran Gibbs (75′) N/A
Didn’t get much to do with Arsenal dictating play in the final quarter of the match.
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