Alexis Sanchez double and classy Mesut Ozil finish boosts Arsenal hopes

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Champions League Group F, Emirates Stadium – Arsenal 3 (Ozil 29′, Sanchez 33′, 69′) Dinamo Zagreb 0

Arsenal recorded a 3-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb to keep their faint hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League alive.

Arsene Wenger’s side needed to secure a victory and hope Olympiacos were unable to snatch a point away to Bayern Munich in order to have any chance of clinching second place in Group F.

And everything went to plan on the night as a goal from Mesut Ozil as well as a double from Alexis Sanchez earned the Gunners a convincing victory while Olympiacos fell to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the German champions.

The deadlock was broken at the Emirates after just 29 minutes when Ozil met a cross from Sanchez to score his third goal of the campaign.

Sanchez grabbed a goal of his own just four minutes later to double his side’s advantage when he tapped in from close range after receiving a square pass from Nacho Monreal.

The Gunners continued with the same high intensity they showed in the first period after the restart and added a third on 69 minutes when Joel Campbellslipped through Sanchez, who bagged his second of the evening – and his ninth of the season.

Dinamo Zagreb were limited to half-chances and Petr Cech only had a single save to make – a deflected effort in the closing stages.

Arsenal will now travel to Olympiacos in a crucial match on December 9 knowing a two-goal win will complete a remarkable turnaround – having lost three of their first four games – and secure a place in the knock-out stages.

If they fail to achieve the required result in Greece, a spot in the Europa League is still guaranteed.

KEY MOMENTS

21’ – MISS! A dangerous cross is whipped from Monreal towards Giroud who tries an acrobatic volley but completely misses the ball. His team mate Campbell may have got in his way there.

29’ – GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb. The Gunners have the lead courtesy of a header from Ozil to finish a wonderful team move.

Mesut Ozil

33’ – GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb. Sanchez doubles the Gunners’ advantage! The visitors fail to clear their lines, Monreal wins the ball back for his side, bursts into the penalty area and squares it to his team mate who is left with time and space to tap the ball into the back of the net.

39’ – SAVE! Ozil skips past a couple of challenges and fires a shot at goal from a tight angle but Eduardo saves with his feet to deny him a second goal of the evening.

48’ – SAVE! Cazorla goes close to grabbing a third for Arsenal as he fires a shot from the edge of the penalty area but Eduardo makes another save to deny him a first Champions League goal.

69’ – GOAL! Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb. Sanchez scores his second of the evening – and his ninth of the season – as he times his run superbly to latch onto a through pass from Campbell and slides the ball into the net.

70’ – POST! Cech is still awake – he makes a save to deny Zagreb from a deflected effort and Rog then strikes the post from the rebound. Arsenal’s clean sheet is still intact.

79’ – PENALTY APPEAL! Sanchez is brought down by Eduardo when through on goal but the referee is having none of it and waves play on! The Chilean is furious – it looked like a foul on replay.

KEY STATS

Arsenal can still qualify but need to win at Olympiacos by a two-goal margin or by a scoreline of 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 etc.

Mesut Ozil scored his seventh CL goal and second this season. This equals his most productive CL season in 2011/2012 for Real Madrid. That season he scored against Bayern and Dinamo Zagreb. This season he also scored against Bayern and now Zagreb.

Alexis Sanchez scored his eighth CL goal. The only Chilean player with more CL goals is Arturo Vidal with nine.

Sanchez also equalled Arturo Vidal on most CL goals of Chilean players with nine. Sanchez scored his second brace in the CL, equalling Ivan Zamorano as only player from Chile to score a CL brace twice.

Sanchez was involved in three goals in the same Champions League game for the first time.

TALKING POINT

All still to play for: If the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez can perform to the best of their ability and the defence holds its nerve, then Arsenal will go close to completing the impossible in Greece.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal): He is unplayable when at his fluent best and the Chilean was most certainly on fire here. He linked up terrifically with team mate Mesut Ozil throughout which was a real joy to watch. Scored twice and could easily have had more. On this performance he would be a star player in every team in the world.

PLAYER RATINGS

Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 7, Koscielny 7, Mertesacker 6, Monreal 8, Flamini 7, Cazorla 7, Campbell 7, Ozil 8, Alexis 9, Giroud 7. Subs: Debuchy 6, Chambers 6,Ramsey 6.

Dinamo Zagreb: Eduardo 7, Pinto 7, Sigali Matel 6, Taravel 6, Antolic 7,Machado 6, Santos 6, Rog 6, Fernandes 6, Pjaca 6. Subs: Coric N/A, Soudani 7,Henriquez 6.

Author: EuroSports

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