Mesut Ozil scored his career hat-trick on Wednesday as Arsenal smooth sailed to a comfortable 6-0 victory over Bulgaria Champions Ludogorets, recording their seventh successive victory in all competitions.
Two first half goals from Alexis Sanchez and in-form Theo Walcott gave the home side a comfort first half advantage with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil ‘s hat trick completing the rout after the break.
Arsenal came into the first of their back-to-back games against the Bulgarian champions in fine form with an opportunity to take control of Group A.
Ludogorets had never won away in the Champions League, and had only one victory in the competition in their history, a record that offered significant encouragement to the in-form Gunners. But the visitors’ impressive performances against Basel and Paris Saint-Germain had given Wenger plenty of food for thought, and left the manager pondering how much to rotate a winning team.
Arsene Wenger made four changes to the side that defeated Swansea in a league, leaving out Alex Iwobi for Oxlade-Chamberlain with Francis Coquelin and David Ospina returning to the starting XI.
Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi continued their partnership in central defence with Kieran Gibbs coming in for Nacho Monreal for Arsenal’s only change to the back four. Elsewhere, Hector Bellerin continuing at right back, Santi Cazorla Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil retained their spot behind Alexis who lead the line for Arsenal once again.
Riding high on confidence after a fine run of form, Arsenal came into the game as heavy favourites – and wasted no time in showing why.
Alexis opened the scoring with a brilliantly-taken lob in the opening exchanges, but the Gunners did not have it all their own way in the first half.
They were indebted to David Ospina, who made three smart saves as his side came under pressure midway through the opening period, before Theo Walcott’s stinging drive extended their advantage.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s industrious display was rewarded with a goal right at the start of the second half, before Mesut Ozil stroked home a fourth as Arsène Wenger’s side moved through the gears.
The World Cup winner, fresh from his brilliant volley against Swansea on Saturday, added his third in the space of two games with a well-executed finish near the end.
But Ozil was not done there, and with three minutes remaining he volleyed home Lucas’ pass to wrap up a fine night for both him and his team.