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Perez, Holding slot into Arsenal XI seamlessly in dominant win at Basel

Arsenal knew they had to win to have any chance of topping Group A, while also hoping Ludogorets could deny Paris Saint-Germain a victory. The Gunners did their part emphatically; a Lucas Perez hat trick and an Alex Iwobi goal were enough to put the hosts to the sword, and in truth it could have been more.

The 4-1 win was enjoyable enough on its own, but Ludogorets hanging on for a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes means Arsene Wenger's side go into the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.

FC BaselFC Basel
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There was a lot to like about what Arsenal did and the way they did it. Wenger made a number of changes and the players he brought in slotted into the system seamlessly. Perez is the obvious example, but young centre-half Rob Holding -- picked ahead of Shkodran Mustafi -- belied his inexperience with a really excellent display, despite a second-half mistake that resulted in a Basel goal.

Arsenal controlled the game very well late on and some of the possession play took the sting out of any potential late reply from Basel.


There really weren't any to speak of. When you win 4-1 away from home and the other result in your group goes your way, it's pretty much the perfect night.

Manager rating out of 10

10 -- Wenger's team selection worked on Tuesday, the players who came in produced, and his substitutions came at exactly the right time -- taking off Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to protect them ahead of the weekend.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David Ospina, 7 -- Didn't have a lot to do, but when called upon claimed crosses and looked confident coming off his line, which isn't always his forte.

DF Gabriel Paulista, 8 -- Was played out of position again at right-back, but looked assured and confident throughout.

DF Rob Holding, 8 -- Acquitted himself really well on his Champions League debut. When you consider the fact that he was playing Championship football for Bolton this time last year, it's a real testament to his quality and development since his arrival at Arsenal. Looks a real prospect and appears to be decent value for money too.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 8 -- Was cool, calm and assured alongside the young Holding -- a guiding influence -- and impeccable on the ball, making 77 of his 78 passes. He had a 100 percent passing accuracy in the first 45 minutes.

DF Kieran Gibbs, 8 -- Had two assists, possibly three (Alexis may have taken a touch for the third), and got forward brilliantly all night. Picked up a booking but defended stoutly.

MF Aaron Ramsey, 7 -- Was much more effective on Tuesday than he was in the EFL Cup last week. He was more sensible on the ball and did what was required of him defensively.

MF Granit Xhaka, 8 -- Had 94 percent passing accuracy on the night, completing 104 of 111 passes. The game revolved around him and he's quickly becoming an integral part of this Arsenal midfield. He will have enjoyed this return to a former club.

MF Mesut Ozil, 8 -- Showed his mercurial quality time and again. His passing and vision were a joy at times and he showcased his creativity with an assist for Iwobi.

MF Alex Iwobi, 7 -- Some of his first touches left a little to be desired, but he worked hard. His defensive awareness has improved a lot, and he got a goal that he really needed. This was hopefully a game that will help him take another step forward.

Lucas Perez excelled with a hat-trick performance in his first Champions League start for Arsenal.

MF Lucas Perez, 9 -- Played on the right of a front three in his first Champions League start for the club and bagged a hat trick in 47 minutes. Poacher's goals, perhaps, but he looks like a man who can improve Arsenal's efficiency in front of goal.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 8 -- Might not have scored, but his effect on the way Arsenal play is considerable. Defenders must hate that he's so unpredictable. Unlucky not to get a goal with a fantastic free kick that crashed off the bar.


FW Olivier Giroud, 6 -- Would have loved to make a goal-scoring impact, but got little service as Arsenal saw the game out confidently.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 7 -- Will have also enjoyed his return to the club he left in January. Played a good part in the way the Gunners controlled the final stages.

FW Theo Walcott, 6 -- Had some chances to create and score, but none of them quite came off.

Andrew Mangan is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter: @arseblog.


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