Grand comeback win for Arsenal
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP):
Arsenal sealed their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League after coming back from two goals down to grab a late 3-2 victory at Ludogorets yesterday.
Mesut Ozil scored the winner two minutes from time at the Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski, securing a spot in the last 16 for the Gunners for the 17th consecutive season.
The German international, who scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 rout of the Bulgarians in the previous round of matches, showed his scoring instincts again with a superb solo effort after a breakaway.
Ludogorets struck twice within three minutes in the first half through Jonathan Cafu and Claudiu Keseru, only for Arsenal to equalise with goals from Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud before the interval.
Arsenal are tied with Paris Saint-Germain atop Group A with 10 points from four games. Both have qualified with two group stage games to go.
The French club won 2-1 at Basel.
Arsenal seemed comfortably in control in the early stages before Cafu struck against the run of play, scoring in the 12th minute following a free kick from Wanderson.
Just three minutes later, Cafu set up Keseru to double the lead from close range.
Xhaka started the comeback in the 20th off a cross by Ozil from the left.
After scoring his first two goals of the season against Sunderland on Saturday as a substitute, Giroud led the attack from the start and made his presence felt three minutes before the halftime, heading home an Aaron Ramsey cross to level the tie.
Ozil secured all the points when he ran through on the break, flicked the ball over the goalkeeper and then left two defenders in a heap before slotting into an empty net.