Ozil hits hat-trick in Arsenal rout
Mesut Ozil scored his first ever hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed Ludogorets Razgrad 6-0 in their Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium yesterday evening.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex OxladeChamberlain had put the Gunners in control of their Group A clash before a second-half treble from Ozil ensured that they wrapped up a seventh consecutive win in emphatic style.
The Gunners were the first to go close when Sanchez picked out Walcott, who got the luck of the bounce to leave him clean through but then opted to look for a pass rather than going for goal.
Moments later Sanchez was through himself after beating the offside trap, but the Chilean lacked conviction and the defence was able to scramble back and avert the danger.
Sanchez made up for the missed opportunity just a minute later, though, breaking the deadlock in style with a sublime lofted finish from the left side of the penalty area.
Arsenal did not have things all their own way, though, and Ludogorets soon began to create chances of their own, with David Ospina being called into action to keep out Wanderson and Jonathan Cafu midway through the half.
An end-to-end period of the match then saw Cosmin Moti gift the ball straight to Ozil, only for the defender to atone for his error and make an important block.
Virgil Misidjan was then denied by an important interception from Ospina before Arsenal went straight up the other end and squandered a glorious chance when Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass was too heavy for Walcott, who would have been left with a simple tap-in.
Ludogorets continued to fire warning shots, though, and they came within inches of levelling the scores shortly after the halfhour mark when Wanderson's low strike clipped the outside of the post moments after Ospina had again got a hand to the ball when Misidjan tried to take it around him.
Walcott was then denied by Vladislav Stoyanov at the other end of the pitch, but the Ludogorets keeper was at fault shortly before half time as Walcott continued his impressive form in front of goal with his seventh goal in his last six club games.
Ozil picked the winger out around 25 yards from goal and Walcott proceeded to curl a powerful strike past the out-ofposition keeper, sending the hosts into the break with a twogoal advantage.
Even at 2-0 down, Ludogorets would have gone into the interval still feeling as though they were in the match, but Arsenal soon put it beyond the Bulgarian champions with a goal inside the opening minutes of the second half - Oxlade-Chamberlain burying a first-time finish into the bottom corner after the ball had fallen kindly for him.
A fourth goal arrived a little over 10 minutes after the restart when Ozil raced clean through on goal before keeping his composure to slide the ball under the keeper.
Ozil almost turned provider for a fifth with a little over 20 minutes left, lifting a no-look chipped pass over for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who saw his first-time volley kept out by Stoyanov.
The German was in a clinical mood himself, though, and doubled his personal tally seven minutes from time before capping off his first ever professional hat-trick by lashing a first-time volley into the bottom corner.
Arsene Wenger's side saw out the rout to stay top of Group A with seven points from three matches, while Ludogorets remain joint bottom with just one point to their name.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil rejoices after scoring yesterday Photo: AP