Perez shines as Arsenal wins big to top Champions League group

Perez shines as Arsenal win big to top Champions League group

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Arsenal finished top of Champions League Group A thanks to a Lucas Perez hat-trick in Basel and Paris St-Germain’s draw with Ludogorets Razgrad.

PSG would have sealed top spot with victory, with anything less allowing in the Gunners, who took control through two Perez tap-ins.

Perez drove in his third from the edge of the box and Alex Iwobi rolled in a fourth before Seydou Doumbia cut through for a Basel consolation.

Arsene Wenger’s side failed to make it past the last 16 that year, and have fallen at the first knockout stage in each of the past six seasons.

The BBC reports that aside from breaking their run of second-placed group finishes, the Gunners have also gone through a group stage unbeaten for the first time since they reached the final in 2005-06.

A 2-2 draw at home against PSG in November looked to have consigned Arsenal to second place and, in theory, a harder assignment in the last 16.

Their only hope of topping the group was help from Bulgarians Ludogorets, who twice led in Paris and, despite Angel di Maria’s late equaliser, held on to seal a place in the Europa League.

As a result, Arsenal know they will avoid Barcelona and Monaco, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons respectively, as well as Atletico Madrid and Napoli in Monday’s draw.

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