London - Theo Walcott's first-half goals and Alexis Sanchez's
boundless energy helped Arsenal to a straightforward 2-0 win over Basel in the
Champions League on Wednesday.
opened the scoring in the seventh minute when a long ball over the top found
Sanchez, who ran down the left before crossing into the box. An unmarked
Walcott darted behind the defence to power a header beyond the reach of Basel
goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.
second goal came from a clinical one-two with Sanchez, whose back was to goal
when he released the England international with a flicked pass. Walcott rifled
home the return ball off the post in the 26th.
result leaves Arsenal fighting for top of Group A with Paris Saint Germain.
Both teams have four points after two matches.
found cracks in Basel's defence throughout the match at Emirates Stadium, and
the home side could have easily had a half-dozen goals by the break — if not
for wayward finishing and some excellent saves from Vaclik.
Arsenal's dazzling play came from Sanchez's vision and industry, with the
forward's pace and trickery too much for Basel to handle at times, with his
link-up play with Walcott paying dividends.
visitors came back into the match for brief spells in the second half, most
notably when midfielder Birkir Bjarnason smashed a shot that forced Arsenal
goalkeeper David Ospina to palm the ball over the crossbar.
was forced to wear its yellow-and-blue away kit at Emirates Stadium after UEFA
said that both of Basel's strips would clash with the home team's red-and-white
midfielder Granit Xhaka faced his older brother Taulant Xhaka for the time
since the siblings lined up against each other at the European Championship in
June — Granit for Switzerland and Taulant for Albania.