Ozil earns perfect 10 after bagging first career hat trick
Mesut Ozil scored a brilliant hat-trick as Arsenal recorded a 6-0 win at home to Ludogorets Razgrad in Champions League Group A play, their ninth win in 10 games in all competitions.
Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring with a sublime chipped finish and Theo Walcott's curler from outside the box was special too, giving Arsenal a 2-0 half-time lead that in truth they did not merit, only some fine work from David Opsina keeping Ludogorets at bay.
But any hint of a possible comeback from the visitors was extinguished 39 seconds into the second half as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain punished a defensive error and Ozil plundered three more for his first ever hat-trick in professional football.
With Paris-Saint Germain also beating Basel, Arsenal are joint top with seven points but ahead of the French champions having scored an away goal in the 1-1 draw earlier in the group phase.
Each of the front four who started the match all got on the scoresheet, with Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain getting assists too. Wenger's attack continues to function beautifully and Walcott's continued excellence is the story of the season for Arsenal, the forward notching his eighth goal already. Much to admire going forward, particularly in the shape of the magisterial Ozil
There were some problems at the back and Wenger would have noted that both his centre-backs made errors which could have led to goals in the first half. Still, it was a procession after the break. Cazorla was also forced off with an injury.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Got some rotation in with four changes and was able to make two more by the hour mark as Arsenal cruised to victory. The first half had some dodgy moments but this match was adorned by the kind of goals that spring from Wenger's unwavering principle of encouraging his players to express themselves. This was a validation of his work, albeit against a poor opposition keeper in Vladislav Stoyanov.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK David Ospina, 7 -- It needed an expert first-half performance from Ospina to protect Arsenal's clean sheet at half-time as he mopped up following two errors from his centre-backs and also denied Virgil Misidjan from a tight angle. Had little further work to do.
DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- Made a number of forward ventures as per usual and Ludogorets mostly targeted their attacks down the opposite flank. Enjoyed having Walcott and then Oxlade-Chamberlain as outlets ahead of him.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 5 -- Almost cost his team a goal on 28 minutes as he failed to deal with a through-ball, allowing Cafu in. But Ospina rescued him with a smart piece of goalkeeping.
DF Laurent Koscielny, 6 -- Also benefitted from Ospina's excellence when he allowed Misidjan to get the ball in the box with a lax bit of defending. Recovered well though and helped snuff out any threat from the visitors in the second half.
DF Kieran Gibbs, 6 -- One of four changes as he came in for Nacho Monreal, Gibbs was alert to take the ball away from Cafu in the box in one dangerous moment in the first half. He used the ball carefully throughout.
MF Francis Coquelin, 8 -- Made an impressive four tackles and four interceptions by half-time to show Arsenal were in a fight at that stage, despite the scoreline. Continued his controlled aggression in the deep midfield to allow Arsenal to dominate after the break.
MF Santi Cazorla, 7 -- Usually tops the passing statistics but Ludogorets had more of the ball in the first half and his influence was restricted. He rectified that on 55 minutes when chipping the ball over the top for Ozil to score, but was quickly replaced by Mohamed Elneny due to a foot injury.
MF Theo Walcott, 8 -- Warmed up with a firm drive which was saved on 38 minutes but then continued his brilliant run of form with a lovely effort four minutes later, curling home a wicked shot from 20 yards. His job done, Wenger gave him a well-earned rest when taking him off just after the hour mark.
MF Mesut Ozil, 10 --Three goals and an assist, of course, as he set up the Walcott goal, even if the winger did all the hard work. Ozil grabbed his first when he collected a lofted pass from Cazorla and showed real composure to take the ball forward and slot it past the keeper for 4-0.
It was five and six when he converted twice from Lucas Perez passes, the second of which was particularly pleasing on the eye. A magnificent depiction of a football genius.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 8 -- Played in Sanchez for the opening goal and Oxlade-Chamberlain should have had a second assist when horribly overcooking an easy square ball for Walcott on 28 minutes. Gleefully stuck away the third though when the ball rolled nicely for him less than a minute after the restart.
FW Alexis Sanchez, 9 -- Scored his first goal in four games and what a beauty it was as he left his marker on his bum with a neat turn and then chipped the ball over the keeper and into the far corner. The flair continued in the second half as Oxlade-Chamberlain almost converted from a no-look chipped pass over the defence.
MF Mohamed Elneny (on 57), 6 -- Cazorla's foot injury gave him a good half hour and he completed all of his 17 passes in a tidy performance.
FW Lucas Perez (on 62), 8 -- Took up residence on the right of the attack after coming on for Walcott but later moved to the centre, from where he set up Ozil for the last two goals.
MF Alex Iwobi (on 73), N/A -- He replaced Sanchez which allowed Perez to go up top. Combined nicely when given the chance
Tom is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @tomEurosport