Mesut Özil scores Arsenal hat-trick and Sánchez chips in to beat Ludogorets 6-0

Arsenal’s progress, at home and abroad, remains serene. It says everything about this thrashing of Ludogorets Razgrad that Arsène Wenger’s side did not have to be at their upbeat best to inflict it on opponents whose defensive resistance started shakily and disintegrated entirely thereafter. A seventh successive victory in all competitions, completed by the first senior hat-trick of Mesut Özil’s glittering career, always felt assured and has left them on the verge of the knockout phase. This team is irresistible.

Given the context of Ludogorets’ pitiful fragility, as Wenger acknowledged, Arsenal could brush off the odd pang of anxiety endured by their own backline. There was no cause for concern when contending with marking as lax as this and, in Vladislav Stoyanov, a goalkeeper whose confidence was shattered from the outset. Özil made all three of his rewards appear simple when lesser mortals might have snatched at the opportunities. “It looks like he has the taste for goals,” Wenger said. “We wanted him to be a provider and a scorer but, before, he only liked to provide. He’s slowly moving towards that better balance.”

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