Paris - Mesut Ozil scored a superb winner as Arsenal came
from 2-0 down to beat Ludogorets 3-2 in Sofia on Tuesday and qualify for the
last 16 of the Champions League.
Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are the two big names in
Group A and both were in a position to advance to the last 16 with two games to
The Gunners did so and the victory keeps them on course to
go through as group winners.
Ozil's wonder strike to secure the victory will steal the
headlines as the gifted German ran from deep to complete the comeback in style.
As goalkeeper Milan Borjan ran out of the box to meet him,
Ozil lifted the ball over him, sold a dummy to two scrambling defenders and
coolly tapped in the winner on 88 minutes.
"I told them not to panic at 2-0 down and stick to our
game," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told BT Sport after the game.
The Bulgarian champions had gone in front on 12 minutes when
Jonathan Cafu reacted quicker than the Arsenal defence to convert a free-kick
from close range.
Cafu then turned provider when Kieran Gibbs fell as the
Brazilian dropped a shoulder, allowing him to cross for in-form striker Claudiu
Kesuru to clip home his 10th goal in 14 games.
But then came Arsenal's astonishing turnaround.
Alexis Sanchez sent Ozil on a run down the left and he set
up Granit Xhaka for a precise left-foot strike to pull a goal back on 21
Aaron Ramsey, back in the Arsenal line-up, provided a
pin-point cross to set up Olivier Giroud, who powered home his header to
equalise on 41 minutes as Borjan mistimed his run.
"It's tough for them but we never gave up," said
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud.
"We killed them on the counter-attack. I had a great
delivery from Aaron and I finished the job."
David Ospina was again selected in goal for Arsenal in the
Champions League ahead of Petr Cech and the Colombian proved his worth twice
with Wanderson bearing down on him before Ozil won it for Arsenal.
PSG were also thankful for a superb late winner as they beat
Basel 2-1 in Switzerland with a brilliant long-range volley from Thomas Meunier
clinching the points.
Blaise Matuidi's back-heel flick just before the break gave
PSG the lead but visiting goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was caught off his line
when a cross from substitute Luca Zuffi sailed over him in the 76th minute to
level the scores.
Coach Unai Emery's last trip to the St Jakob-Park five
months ago was for the Europa League final which his Sevilla side won, and he
was celebrating another victory here thanks to Belgian full-back Meunier's